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Chron: Astros have no hard feelings for Beltran

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Rockets34Legend, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/3132226

    NEW YORK -- They had stopped off in pairs, offering Carlos Beltran hugs and congratulations. For a few seconds at least, it was as though nothing had changed since last October's thrilling postseason. But reality set in quickly.

    Beltran is now with the New York Mets, and he felt awkward when introduced to the sellout crowd at Shea Stadium on Monday afternoon.

    With his past right in front of him, Beltran smiled and waved to his former Astros teammates stationed along the third-base line for pregame introductions.

    As if the Astros could forget, the Mets' public address announcer introduced Beltran by mentioning he tied the postseason record for home runs last October with eight. Beltran took his place along the line, waved at the Astros and smiled as Jeff Bagwell offered him a salute.

    A second later, Beltran turned his back to face the crowd. The Astros were behind him. A beautiful memory perhaps, but a memory nonetheless.

    "It was emotional for me because the experience I had in Houston was incredible," Beltran said. "God gave me the opportunity to play with good Christian people. I really got along well with all of them, and I enjoyed my time in Houston.

    "It's a weird feeling to feel like you're playing against them. But this is part of the business, and this offseason was a difficult offseason for me."

    Beltran, who mentions God in almost every sentence, went to bat in the first inning not knowing how he would feel facing his old teammates. He found comfort in Astros catcher Brad Ausmus' words.

    "He told me that he missed me," Beltran said. "I said, `Man, I miss you too.' He wished me good luck and good health. I wished him luck and told him to stay healthy. It truly was a beautiful experience for me.

    "Unfortunately, we couldn't get to the negotiations I was waiting for. But I think God has a plan for everybody. Maybe He had a plan that I wasn't expecting."

    Beltran grew accustomed to appreciative hugs from his Astros teammates as he soared through the postseason last year.

    "He's a good guy," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "There's no hard feelings at all. We wish him well, just not when he's playing us."

    A respected foe

    Even Roy Oswalt, who despises the practice of fraternizing with opposing hitters, smiles when Beltran's name is mentioned.

    "He's the enemy now," Oswalt said. "It's different for sure after seeing what we all went through last year."

    Other than maybe rookie Willy Taveras, who replaced Beltran in center field, the Astros were disappointed when Beltran spurned owner Drayton McLane's $108 million offer, instead signing a seven-year deal with the Mets for $119 million in January.

    "Being a guy that's been around a long time, you realize that (movement) is the game now," Bagwell said. "Would we love to have him back? Yeah, because that type of player doesn't come around often."

    Beltran, who will turn 28 this month, started his career in Kansas City. He broke in with the Royals in 1998 and remained with them until he was traded to the Astros in a three-team deal last June 24.

    He was in Houston for only four months, leaving what some would call a lifetime of memories with his postseason excellence.

    As Beltran tied Barry Bonds' record of eight home runs in a single postseason, the Astros got within a victory of the franchise's first appearance in the World Series. Beltran hit .455 with four home runs, two doubles and nine RBIs to help the Astros beat longtime postseason tormentor Atlanta in the National League Division Series, the first playoff series victory in franchise history.

    Beltran hit .417 (10-for-24) with four home runs, five RBIs, 12 runs, eight walks and four stolen bases in the seven-game NL Championship Series against the Cardinals.

    No-trade clause key issue

    Beltran raised his stock tremendously heading into the free-agent market. McLane chased him into the last day (Jan. 8) the Astros could negotiate with him. Considering the higher taxes in New York, most everybody agrees the offers were essentially equal financially.

    McLane refused to give Beltran a full no-trade clause, and Beltran maintains that was a deal-breaker.

    "In reality, something I wasn't going to compromise was my stability," Beltran said. "That's what I did. Thank God I found stability in New York that I couldn't get in Houston."

    McLane has said the no-trade clause was not the only hurdle between the parties, but he definitely learned his lesson and gave Lance Berkman a full no-trade clause last month as part of a six-year, $85 million deal.

    Berkman is considered one of the best sluggers in baseball, but even he admits he isn't nearly as versatile or complete a performer as Beltran, a five-tool player who is considered one of the game's best defensive center fielders and base stealers.

    Business is one thing. Camaraderie built in the postseason is something else.

    "I really spent a great time over there being able to play in the playoffs and share moments with them," Beltran said. "I just feel happy to see all of them. I'm playing for the other side, but I just wish them all the best because they're great guys.

    "They congratulated me for everything that I went through this offseason. They were happy for me."

    Under Bagwell (since 1991) and Craig Biggio (since 1988), the Astros have had what is considered one of the warmest clubhouses in the majors.

    "My teammates couldn't treat me any better when I was traded there," Beltran said. "They made me feel as though I had been part of the organization for many years. I wish the best for that organization, the front office and everybody. I hope they can live up to the expectations they have set as a team."

    Rocket poses tough test

    Part of the goal in Houston is to beat everybody, including the Mets. Beltran, hitting .300 with two homers and six RBIs in 30 at-bats as a Met, knows Roger Clemens won't concede him anything when a three-game series continues tonight.

    "He's a great pitcher," Beltran said. "He has great preparation. He has the best preparation I've ever seen for a pitcher. Include Pedro (Martinez) in that category right there. I think those guys prepare well before the game, during the game.

    "It was a great experience for me to play in Houston and see him pitch the way he did. I know Wednesday we're going to face him, and it won't be easy."

    Astros Summary

    Sneak a peek

    On Saturday, Craig Biggio quietly saved the Astros' pitchers by making two catches in shallow right field, one to strand a runner in scoring position in the eighth inning and another to strand two runners in the ninth.

    Those plays kept the score tied at 3, setting up Jose Vizcaino's walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth. Without Biggio's defensive gems, especially the one all the way toward the line in the eighth, the Astros would have definitely entered the bottom of the ninth trailing.

    But Biggio was in danger Monday when right fielder Jason Lane ran into him and dropped a fly ball, leading to three unearned runs in the Mets' five-run eighth.

    In most cases, infielders are supposed to bail out if the outfielder calls for the ball. But when a crowd such as the 53,663 at Shea Stadium makes it difficult to hear, the outfielder must concede or at least see where the infielder is.

    "It's one those things that you learn to deal with over the years," manager Phil Garner said. "You've got a lot of noise in the crowd. The outfielder needs to sense. The infielder's taught to keep going until he hears the outfielder. He can't hear him, so the outfielder has to sort of peek and be able to see where the infielder is and know when he has the ball."

    Biggio plans to use Monday's mishap as a learning experience.

    "I thought I was kind of underneath," Biggio said. "And then the next thing you know, it's one of those things that we'll just talk about."

    Added Lane: "It hit my glove. That's what we're trying to talk about right now — about trying to take a peek at each other. When it's loud like that, it's just tough to figure out (who will get) the ball when you have a little bit longer run or you're not sure who's going to get there easier.

    "Obviously, we've worked on it in spring training, but we never have simulated that kind of noise."

    Coming up

    RHP Roger Clemens (1-0, 1.29 ERA) faces the Mets tonight. He is 3-5 with a 5.72 ERA in the regular season against the Mets and 0-3 with a 7.64 ERA in three regular-season starts at Shea Stadium. He has not appeared at Shea since June 15, 2002. LHP Kazuhisa Ishii (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will start for the Mets.
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    I'm glad Carlos got the memo from Boras to stick w/ the "no no-trade clause" company line.

    Maybe eventually, he'll also mention the 20 other demands they dropped on Houston at the last second... things that could have been negotiated weeks before, if he truly wanted to stay.
     
  3. Joshfast

    Joshfast "We're all gonna die" - Billy Sole
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    I'm really glad that the astros have no hard feelings torward Beltran, but I sure the hell do.
     
  4. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    They may say nothing to his face, but secretly, I bet you Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio and Roy (especially Roy) are a little ticked that he decided to bolt... especially since it was mainly those guys (and Berkman) that played the best in the 36-10 stretch to make the playoffs... not Beltran.... and they gave him the opportunity to shine on the huge stage (and bow, did he definitely made the most of it).

    The only Astro who is probably at ease with Carlos not being here in the long-run is Lance... he got his big contract, and he will be the face of the Astros for the next 6 years... not Carlos.
     
  5. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    exactly, there is NO WAY the no trade clause was the only thing keeping them apart. carlos sounds like a great person but he never raved this much about the astros after the season or when we were trying to retain him. makes me believe he never wanted to return.
     
  6. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    why especially roy?
     
  7. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Roy is one of the biggest competitors we have on our team... in fact, he's probably borderline-psycho about coming out on top... and others in the clubhouse have taken note about it.

    Take for example last year, when he got so riled up, he decided to plunk Michael Barrett... basically saying, if he was going to lose, he was going to take one of their guys out doing it. Bagwell jumped all over him for that... but at the same time, Roy came off as somebody you just don't want to mess with.
     
  8. bottlerocket

    bottlerocket Member

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    I will still BOO greedy (1/7 deadly sins) Beltran when he visits the Juice Box.
     
  9. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I understand the responses in this thread will be mostly from upset Astro fans but Beltran played in this town for exactly half a season. Its not like I don't know, signing as a free agent in your home-town and then demanding a trade before your contract runs out because things didn't go the way you wanted.
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Yay... lets make analogies to T-mac that don't make any sense. :rolleyes:

    This would only really apply to ORLANDO fans... they're the ones that are bitter about T-mac, not us. Plus, T-mac didn't string them along for half the summer making them believe that he wanted to stay there... only to bolt at the last second. They got what they believed to be fair value for him... we got nothing from Beltran in the end.

    Frankly, we're like Tornoto... T-Mac left them after they drafted him, nurtured him, and then he went for the big payoff (even if he played it off as "going home"). I don't care what you say about what we should feel... if a guy made a difference, you should always want to keep him.

    Why are we talking about this again? This is strictly a baseball topic.... hell, Randy Johnson left us after having his best half of a season ever, just so he could go home and pitch and have 5 more great years.
     
    #10 Nick, Apr 13, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2005
  11. VesceySux

    VesceySux Contributing Member

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    I'm extremely bitter because I live in New York and have to hear about him constantly. Also, I'm pissed because the secondhand info (not third or fourth) I received from Beltran's personal handler (i.e. agent) about him "going to sign with Houston" was a freaking lie.
     
  12. tim562

    tim562 Contributing Member

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    I have some seats out there close to centefield. I will let Beltran know exactly how I feel. Believe me, I will.
     
  13. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    Its obvious that a no trade clause was one big part of the deal breaker. It became very obvious once we didnt hesitate to give one to Berkman. Were there others? Perhaps. I sure hope providing Carlos with his own personal pitching machine, a suite for road games, and a luxury box weren't the others. Don't make it like the no trade clause wasnt a factor....it was. Granted, Carlos chose a team that will have troule making the playoffs being in the same division as Fla, Atl and Phil...but that doesn't help us any.
     
  14. Colt45

    Colt45 Member
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    Wow, an entire offseason and some people STILL don't understand that Beltran wasn't going to re-sign with the Astros under ANY circumstances.

    Give it up, NJ. Carlos will never date you.
     
  15. Sishir Chang

    Sishir Chang Contributing Member

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    Even if Boras had dropped several last minute factors into the negotiations whey didn't McLane at least agree to the no-trade clause to expose Boras as the greedy bloodsucker he is?

    Instead Beltran's gone and McLane and the Stro's are left looking like idiots for not giving a guy who cracked a 45 year curse with a historic playoff performance a relatively common clause to keep him. McLane got played on this and was too boneheaded to recognize it.
     
  16. coma

    coma Contributing Member

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    VS-

    So now that the season has actually started, has the fervor over Beltran died a bit? What kind of press does he get compared to the Yanks?
     
  17. desihooper

    desihooper Contributing Member
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    I'm surprised that Jesus Ortiz did not drop the racecard and say that McLane gave Berkman a full no-trade because he's white. Wasn't he the same guy who pretty much called out Hunsicker and Tal Smith last year for being racist? I think this is the second contract that McLane included a no-trade deal (Pettitte last year and now Berkman). Obviously Biggio and Bagwell didn't need explicit no-trade clauses in their contracts because of their 5-10 status. I think that Boras was stalling for a better deal as he tried to "negotiate" last minute items into the contract (incentives and perks). I'm sure the Astros finally figured out how disingenuous this effort was on the part of Boras and Beltran and decided to fold before the stakes got raised even higher. Beltran will never be the winner he we last year with the Mets. That bully is a joke. I hope he enjoys his newfound A-Rod status for a few years while he puts up big numbers for a bottom-feeder team.

    Now that he's got his contract worked out, would anyone be opposed to trading for him (I can hardly type that without cringing at the thought of losing more prospects)?

    Wonder if Beltran will have some added motivation to go yard off of Clemens after he "called him out" during his press conference. If he does, I hope the Rocket has a lil something for him during his next AB.

    I just thought of something, if Beltran takes Clemens yard, how reluctant would Piazza be to dig in right after?!? :D
     
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    nope..different guy
     
  19. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Drayton already went on record saying that there was no way that a no-trade clause would ever be a deal-breaker. He also said that once they started bringing that up, along w/ issues of deffered money, etc., on the very last day... he knew that right then, that he'd been played for a fool.

    Thus, it probably never got to the point to where Drayton said, "we'll waive the no-trade clause..." because they were never negotiating... it was the Astros putting up their offer, and Beltran's crew saying "we'll wait and see..." up until the freaking deadline, where it was blatantly obvious that had he wanted to go to houston, he wouldn't have waited all the way till then.

    Drayton was pissed that he never got a chance to see and talk w/ Carlos in person... he was never extended an invitation to Puerto Rico... and when he wanted to issue a joint statement w/ Boras that Carlos wasn't going to sign here (this was around the time of the winter meetings), Boras convinced him that he was still one of the major players (and he was... the Cubs and Yankees were barely in the hunt, and the Mets hadn't even showed up yet).
     
  20. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    Beltran had no intentions of signing with us... I think that's the obvious part. Him and Boras intentionally waited until the last minute to make a decision to get the most out of the bidding war. The players may say that they have no grudges, but they do... and the fans sure as hell do.
     

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