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Carlos Beltran was hurt by Mets’ smear campaign over Walter Reed issue

Carlos Beltran MetsCarlos Beltran was introduced on Friday as one of the newest members of the New York Yankees and, during his press conference, he addressed one of his disappointing moments as a member of the city’s other baseball team.

Beltran spent six and a half largely unappreciated seasons with the Mets. His time was marred by a sub-par first season, knee injury, conflict with the Mets over knee surgery in 2010, and an infamous called third strike in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Some Mets fans have come around and realized how good he was for the team, but the uneasiness over his time there lingers.

One of the big controversies surrounding Beltran’s time with the Mets was when the team launched a smear campaign against him in Sept. 2010. The Mets singled out Beltran to the media for missing a community service/outreach trip to Walter Reed Medical Center, even though Beltran had permission from the team to miss the event. Beltran missed the event because he was in Puerto Rico for a meeting to set up his academy in Puerto Rico, which recently helped him win the Roberto Clemente Award.

“The controversy about Walter Reed and the knee, the organization trying to prove as a player that I was a bad apple,” Beltran said, via the New York Daily News. “I was this, I was that. I can deal with 0-for-4s and three strikeouts and talking to you guys. I can deal with that. When somebody is trying to hurt you in a personal way, trying to put things out there that are not me, we have trouble. Now it’s personal, you know what I’m saying? In that point, when they say all that about myself, of course I was hurt.”

Last year, ESPN New York Mets reporter Adam Rubin said the Mets launched a whisper campaign to make Beltran look bad for missing the event, which goes along with Beltan saying the organization was trying to prove he was a bad apple. They traded him to the Giants midway through the next season, and he went on to have success over his next three seasons, leading to him signing with the Yankees.

Beltran has every right to still be upset with the Mets over the issue. That was a low move by them, and it really helps explain why Mets fans were conditioned to dislike him.

H/T Hardball Talk

Carlos Beltran to sign with Yankees

Carlos-Beltran-No-Trade-Clause-Could-Screw-MetsCarlos Beltran wanted to sign with the New York Yankees the last two times he was a free agent, but the pinstripes weren’t interested. Looks like the third time was the charm.

Beltran and the Yankees have agreed on a three-year deal worth $45 million, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports. The free agent outfielder and the Yankees agreed to the deal the same day all-star second baseman Robinson Cano agreed to a huge deal with the Seattle Mariners. In addition to Cano, the Yankees lost Curtis Granderson to the Mets on Friday.

Though the Yankees are losing Cano to Seattle and Granderson to the Mets, they have added Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann this offseason. They also signed Kelly Johnson to play second.

The Yankees have a crowded outfield now between Ellsbury, Beltran, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro and possibly Vernon Wells, but they are loaded. Luckily they also have the DH spot to spread around. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale says Beltran will play right field while Soriano will usually DH.

Once they bring back Hiroki Kuroda and add a few more pieces, the Yankees are going to be much better off than they were before. This is shaping up to be an excellent offseason for them.

Red Sox interested in Carlos Beltran, Tim Hudson

Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran is undoubtedly one of the most coveted players on the free agent market. He is expected to generate interest from multiple top teams, and it sounds like the World Series champion Boston Red Sox are in that group.

The New York Post’s George A. King III reported on Thursday night that the Sox have made an aggressive push for Beltran. The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are also interested in Beltran, but King says the interest from the Sox has been the strongest so far.

Beltran is turning 37 in April but coming off two highly successful seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has posted an OPS of at least .830 the past two seasons, in addition to playing well in right field. He also has been an absolute beast in the postseason.

One of the issues for those three teams is figuring out how Beltran will fit into their roster. Boston has Shane Victorino in right and a platoon of Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes in left. They will likely lose Jacoby Ellsbury in free agency and would have to replace him. They could move Victorino to center and put Beltran in right. The Yankees similarly have Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano, and they’re waiting to see whether Curtis Granderson will accept his qualifying offer.

Beltran received a qualifying offer for $14.1 million from the Cardinals, so the team that signs him would have to forfeit a draft pick if he turns down the qualifying offer. That probably wouldn’t be an issue for the Sox, who will receive a pick as compensation from the team that signs Ellsbury.

In addition, reports say the Red Sox are also interested in pitcher Tim Hudson, who is recovering from surgery to repair a broken ankle and ligament. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the interest between Hudson and the Sox is mutual. The market for him could be stronger because he did not receive a qualifying offer from the Braves, which means the team that signs him would not have to surrender a draft pick.

The Sox would look even tougher heading into next season if they’re able to add both players, which seems like a strong possibility.

Carlos Beltran took Toradol injection to play in Game 2

Carlos Beltran grand slam David OrtizIf you’re like me, you were probably pretty surprised to learn that Carlos Beltran would be in the lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday. The Cardinals right fielder suffered a nasty bruise to the ribs after going hard into the right field wall to rob David Ortiz of a grand slam in Game 1 of the series. Beltran left the game and was taken to the hospital for X-rays and a CT scan, which were negative. The team termed his rib injury a deep contusion.

So how was Beltran able to play less than 24 hours after needing to go to the hospital? He took a major pain-killing injection.

“Basically, they gave me an injection to kind of block the pain for 5 hours or 6 hours,” LA Times baseball writer Bill Shaikin reported.

Shaikin also says Beltran said the injection was Toradol.

Toradol is a controversial substance that is commonly used in sports. A few years ago, a group of retired NFL players sued the league for allowing the injections to be commonly administered. It became popular in baseball among pitchers, who will take injections on days of their starts. Curt Schilling says he took Toradol injections before starts for the last 10 years of his career. Jonathan Papelbon says he used Toradol while with the Boston Red Sox but his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies, don’t allow it.

Side effects of Toradol are believed to be prevlant and dangerous. It is legal in the US, though many countries no longer approve its use.

Carlos Beltran leaves with rib injury after robbing grand slam (Video)

Carlos Beltran grand slam David OrtizCarlos Beltran robbed David Ortiz of a grand slam in the second inning of Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday to save three runs, but the excellent defensive play came at a cost.

The St. Louis Cardinals right fielder was under control when he went back to the wall by the Boston Red Sox bullpen and made the catch over the fence, but he still slammed into the wall hard. He appeared to be in pain after making the catch and was replaced by Jon Jay after the inning.

The Cardinals announced that Beltran left the game with a rib contusion, and he was taken to the hospital. X-rays and a CT scan on his ribs were negative, but Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says Beltran is day-to-day with a severe rib bruise.

We saw Hanley Ramirez suffer a cracked rib for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Cardinals, and he was never the same. It looks like the same thing will be the case with Beltran. This is a devastating turn for the team. Beltran has been a postseason stud for the team, knocking in 12 runs and posting a .900 OPS while also playing excellent defense. They’re already down 1-0 in the series and it won’t help having Beltran at half-strength the rest of the series.

Carlos Beltran to Yankees sounds like strong possibility

Carlos BeltranCan you imagine Carlos Beltran playing for the New York Yankees? You might have to get used to it, because it sure sounds like a possibility.

The New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand reported this week that the Yankees could be looking to add an outfielder in the offseason and that Beltran might be one of their targets. Beltran’s two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals expires after the season, and the thinking is that he might want to go to the Bronx because the ability to DH and play the field would be appealing. He turns 37 next April.

The Daily News says Beltran approached the Yankees and offered them a discounted rate each of the last two times he was a free agent. The Yanks passed each time — first because they had Bernie Williams in center, and second because they had Nick Swisher and were concerned about Beltran’s injuries. Feinsand says Beltran would “strongly consider” signing with the Yankees.

Beltran has proven over the past two seasons with the Cardinals that he can stay healthy and still produce at high levels. He’s also cemented his reputation as one of the best playoff hitters of all time.

It would make plenty of sense for the Yankees and everyone else with money to go after Beltran. I’d say knowing the Yankees’ luck that Beltran would have a down season with them, but I think he’s good enough to continue delivering for a few seasons.

Carlos Beltran on Yasiel Puig: He still thinks he’s playing in Cuba

Yasiel-Puig-arm-raiseLos Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig stole the show in his team’s Game 3 NLCS win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. He deserved the spotlight after delivering an RBI triple to give LA a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning, but it was his reaction to the hit that set the internet on fire.

After stroking the ball to the opposite field off Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, Puig flipped his bat, raised his arms in the air and began to stroll down the first base line. The rookie clearly thought he had blasted a homer, only to have to kick it into high-gear to leg out the triple after seeing the ball carom off the right field wall.

As you might expect, a number of St. Louis players were critical of Puig’s antics after the game. One of them was Carlos Beltran, who implied the pimping of the triple shows that Puig still thinks he’s playing in Cuba.

“He still thinks he’s playing somewhere else,” Beltran said, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “I don’t know.”

Puig essentially admitted that his years of playing in Cuba have led to his flare for the dramatic.

“In Cuba, you always see a lot of emotion on the field,” he said. “It’s their job to go out there and do the best they can, just like here in the big leagues. The people in Cuba are born to play baseball.”

He also expressed no regret for pimping a triple.

“I wouldn’t have scored either way, regardless of what happened on the play.”

I suppose that’s true, but he also wouldn’t have looked like a moron. Between Beltran’s comments about Puig and Wainwright’s criticism of Adrian Gonzalez celebrating his RBI double, it’s starting to sound like we officially have an emotional playoff series on our hands.