Love or hate him, Beltran is a step in the right direction for C - KMOV.com

Love or hate him, Beltran is a step in the right direction for Cards

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New York Mets' Carlos Beltran leaves the dugout after losing a baseball game 6-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Thursday, July 21, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) By Frank Franklin II New York Mets' Carlos Beltran leaves the dugout after losing a baseball game 6-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Thursday, July 21, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) By Frank Franklin II
New York Mets' Carlos Beltran hits a double during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) By Frank Franklin II New York Mets' Carlos Beltran hits a double during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) By Frank Franklin II

(KMOV)--Cardinal Nation has a love-hate relationship with Carlos Beltran.  In 2004 Cards fans hated him.  Beltran destroyed Cardinal pitching in the National League Championship Series that year batting .417 with four homeruns, five RBI, and compiled a .958 slugging percentage. (series went seven games).  However, Redbird fans cheered for him in 2006.  

Maybe not for him, more because of the moment; Adam Wainwright threw the nastiest curveball in Cardinal history and all Carlos Beltran could do is stand, knees buckled, and listen to the umpire call strike three, the Cardinals won the pennant.

But now there's no more hate for Beltran, Cardinals fans should be excited that he's donning the 'Birds on the Bat.'  I'm glad the front office didn't go more than two years on the contract.  $13 million dollars per year is a bit much, but it seems that's what they needed to do to get him to come to St. Louis.  He will provide depth until Allen Craig is fully recovered from knee surgery.  I like how he's a switch hitter and if he can stay healthy Beltran will be a threat in an already dangerous line-up.  

I heard some national radio guys talking about how the Cardinals found their guy to replace Albert Pujols.  Come on, no one will ever be able to replace 'The Mang,' but this is a major and positive step in the right direction to reassuring Cardinals fans that life without Albert could be just fine.

-- Jeff Abeln, KMOV Sports

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