Carlos Beltran finally put on the Yankees jersey he’s longed to wear Friday when he was officially introduced at a Yankee Stadium press conference where he wore No. 36.
The switch-hitting outfielder evolved into one of the best players in Mets history even if many can’t forgive him for taking a called third strike to end Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. And he can’t forgive the Mets for how they treated him at the end of his stay in Queens.
“It comes down to that and it also comes down to, maybe I wouldn’t call it controversy, about Walter Reed and the knee [surgery],’’ said Beltran, who was heavily criticized for missing a 2010 team outing to Walter Reed hospital and had a miscommunication flap with the Mets about having knee surgery after the 2009 season.
Beltran felt the criticism from the Mets’ front office was personal and wrong.
“The situation they tried to put me in, that I was a bad apple,” Beltran said. “I can deal with 0-for-4s, three strikeouts and talking to you guys, I can deal with that. But when somebody is trying to hurt you in a personal way and put things out there that aren’t me, then we have trouble. Now it’s personal.
“At that point when they say all that, of course, I was hurt. You cannot believe that an organization that signed you for seven years will try to put you down. They not only hurt me, they hurt my family and people around me.’’
The Mets put out a statement later Friday that read:
“Statistics speak for themselves. Carlos Beltran was one of the best outfielders in Mets history. We wish him well.’’