As I watched you return on Tuesday night from a flu that kept you out of the lineup for three days, it occurred to me that I most likely only have three more games to watch you in a New York Mets uniform at Citi Field. You began the night by smacking two doubles in three innings off Kyle Lohse, and you ended the night going 3-for-3 with two walks, reaching base all five times you stepped up to the plate. It is no secret that you will most likely be traded before the July 31 deadline., as that has been the rumor ever since your former teammate, Francisco Rodriguez, was traded just after the All-Star Game to the Milwaukee Brewers. And in addition to all the reported offers that Alderson has received from various teams as of late, it is now being reported that the Mets are actually willing to pay the rest of your remaining salary in 2011 in exchange for a better deal, a surprising twist since we were all under the impression that the Mets have no money.
Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your time as a New York Met. I know not every fan has appreciated what you have given to this team in your stay in Queens, but I have. When I look back at your career as a New York Met, I am not going to focus on the at-bat against Adam Wainwright or the controversy about flawed medical reports regarding your knee. No, I am going to sit back and realize that there has not been a better center fielder in baseball over the past seven years, offensively or defensively, than the one playing in Flushing, NY. Your defense is impeccable, you put on a clinic on running bases every time you get a hit, and you have given the Mets more than enough offense to compete in the National League year after year.
Unfortunately, injuries happened, and then more injuries happened, and then even more injuries happened, which prevented what you called in 2005, "The New Mets", from winning a championship during your time here. But I truly hope you realize that at least I am grateful for your catch on Tal's Hill in Minute Maid Park and that I remember your 16th inning home run against Ryan Madson. You were simply the victim of a town that tends to forget the good and remember the bad, and it is a true shame, because the reality is you were one of the most under-rated players in New York Mets history.
As I sat in front of your locker Tuesday night, I could see that as happy as you were to get back and contribute the lineup, you were just as disappointed to realize that your relationship with the Mets might be coming sooner rather than later. Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate that you restated your wish to remain a Met, as it shows your loyalty to your teammates and your dedication to New York. But the reality is that several contending teams are lining up the door, prepared to give the Mets whatever it takes to acquire you, and eventually, there is probably going to be an offer that Sandy Alderson just can't refuse. So, once and for all, thank you for everything, and good luck with the rest of your baseball career.
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