Though Carlos Beltran crafted a good deal of his future Hall of Fame career with the New York Mets, he’s become primarily associated with the Yankees and Astros upon his retirement — Houston because of the scandal that made him infamous, and the Yanks because of Alex Cora’s winks and the organization’s embrace of his transition to broadcasting.
That post-career pivot added an extra layer of hilarity to Beltran’s shenanigans in the booth midway through the Yankees’ blowout victory over the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.
That’s Sunday, June 12, for those counting, an extremely important date in the recent history of both the Yankees and Mets. If you were to hop in a time machine back to 2009, you’d be spat out in the middle of an instant classic between the two clubs — or, rather, a boring and depressing Yankee “loss” that became a classic in an instant.
With two down and two on in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets held an 8-7 advantage, and closer Francisco Rodriguez induced a harmless pop-up from Alex Rodriguez to second baseman Luis Castillo. It didn’t even seem to drift that much. The game was over. The wind was dead. A-Rod slammed his bat, and K-Rod banked the save … until …
Castillo completely inexplicably dropped the ball, and the winning run (Mark Teixeira) raced around from first. Beltran, on the field at the time, didn’t even notice; as he relayed Sunday, he’d already jogged in with his head down and assumed victory.
Beltran hilariously marked the 13th anniversary of the blunder (and turning point in both team’s seasons) by recording the YES Network rebroadcast of the moment and texting it directly to Castillo. Without explanation.
Carlos Beltran trolled Luis Castillo with Yankees-Mets highlight
The Mets’ starting shortstop in that game, by the way? Alex Cora. Spooky.
No word yet on whether Castillo appreciated the correspondence or not. A deeply weird player who would’ve thrived in a different era, the slap hitter was a three-time All-Star who wrapped his career with a below-average 92 OPS+. He hit .302 in 2009, then dipped to .235 the next year and was out of baseball at the end of 2010.
It’s unclear how this pivotal error helped chart his course, but we should probably still pull a Beltran and watch it again in all its glory … right?
With Derek Jeter at second and two down in the bottom of the ninth, Rodriguez intentionally walked Teixeira to pitch to A-Rod. It seemed like the right decision. It was the right decision.
And it’s still getting texted to Castillo decades later. Funny how that happens.