In his book, Joe Torre took a jab at Carlos Beltran, calling him soft mentally and questioned his leadership capabilities. It’s a rap that resurfaced during the Mets’ pennant race fades the past two years.
Torre said Beltran wanted to come to the Yankees for a discount, but was talked out of it by his agent, Scott Boras, who got him an extra year and $19 million more with the Mets (seven at $119 million).
Said Torre: “Beltran wanted to come to us, so he could hide among the trees. Nobody wants to be that guy to lead.”
Not surprisingly, Beltran refuted Torre at last night’s Thurman Munson Dinner.
“First of all, I don’t know Joe Torre personally, so I don’t know what kind of person he is,” Beltran said. “The second thing I have to say is that when I met with the Yankees when I was a free agent, he wasn’t there, so you know, he didn’t know that we talked, so I didn’t meet him. So if he did say what he said, then that’s his opinion. I don’t have to comment on that. I feel very happy where I am.”
Reliever J.J. Putz will join David Wright on Team USA during the World Baseball Classic this spring.
Also representing the Mets this spring will be: outfielder Carlos Beltran, first baseman Carlos Delgado and reliever Pedro Feliciano (Puerto Rico); closer Francisco Rodriguez and pitcher Johan Santana (Venezuela) and shortstop Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic).
After Alex Rodriguez opted to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic this spring, and with Chipper Jones expected to be the DH, third base opened up for David Wright. Team USA will have an all-New York left side of the infield with the Yankees’ Derek Jeter at shortstop.
Wright will likely be the only Met playing for Team USA, but the Mets could also send Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado (Puerto Rico), Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela), and Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic).
I found it interesting that Phillies Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels said they preferred getting their work in during spring training and preparing for the season to play for the team that pays them. Yankees’ CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett said the same thing.
Yes, I am well aware a player can get hurt anywhere, but I’m especially wary about pitchers throwing in game conditions that early in the spring. But, that’s just me. Does anybody have a problem with players leaving teams during spring training to prepare for the WBC and exposing themselves to injury.