Carlos Beltran: You’ve Got to be Kidding Me

by KC Baker | Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016
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Carlos Beltran

My Astros picked up Carlos Beltran from the Royals for Houston’s 2004 playoff run. And he performed as advertised, batting .435 with eight home runs, 14 RBI’s and six steals bringing my mighty, mighty Stros within one win of our first World Series. Then came the bidding war for his free agent services instigated and inflamed by the ever-repulsive Scott Boras.

Beltran and his truly lovely wife paraded around the Bayou City speaking of the obvious Hispanic culture that beautifully permeates every seam of my Great State of Texas. Carlos said he “loved Houston.” Yet, it was all a dog and pony show orchestrated to secretly pump up Beltran’s value in big market towns. He had no intention of signing with Houston. Word was he wanted to be a Yankee; but he eventually settled on the equally despicable New York Mets for seven years and $119 million and a no-trade clause.

I’m a staunch capitalist. A man that earnestly reaches out for a bigger paycheck has my blessing. But hey man, don’t use my community like a hapless rube for your pursuit of riches. Be honest; Randy Johnson made a brief stop in Houston. After the playoffs, he became a free agent and the Big Unit advised everyone he was going to the club that paid him the most money. KC’s good with that. But Boras and his client played us like fools and laughed; Carlos moved on to a millionaire career notably devoid of a Series win (the Baseball Gods’ decision, not mine). Four teams after he snubbed the Stros and a city that begged to embrace him like the second coming of the Great Jose Cruz, he’s a man bearing vastly diminished skills without a real home. Is he a Royal? An Astro? A Met? A Giant? A Yankee? A Ranger? Nope, he’s Carlos Buckstran, mercenary for hire. Only he doesn’t have much left to offer as middle age threatens at sunrise.

I’m a grown man and shouldn’t get wound up about this; but I will never forget the Boras-Beltran 2004 3-Card-Monte show. It was insulting as hell. I have consistently and fervently booed Beltran every time he showed up in our house since then. On more than one day game when I needed to be in the office, I marched the four blocks to the JuiceBox carrying work for the sole purpose of being there to boo his sorry ass as he stepped up to the plate. East Texas white trash is not programmed to go quietly into the night.

Then in this winter of 2016 I learned that my home team paid $16 million to bring this nearly 40-year old huckster back to Houston for one year. I immediately texted my buddy and Cards fan in St. Louis. He knows how I despise this man.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” he texted back with nearly audible laughter seeping out of my iPhone. He violently extracted the words right out of my mouth.

“Oh man; you know I’m going to ride this horse for a while,” he continued, signaling the season-long taunts to come.

I hate Don.

Now where do I go? It’s hard to cheer a player you’ve booed for over a decade. How do you boo him when he’s wearing your home uni in the bottom of the 9th in a tie ball game with a man on third and two outs? And it’s been a long time. Hell, my little kids I trained to boo Beltran have graduated college (but they would still boo his sorry ass).

Now, this paunchy remnant of the man who owned the JuiceBox in September 2004 comes back to the place where he should have stayed after it’s too late to reconcile. And we are paying him $16 million for the privilege. Just imagine if young Beltran was an Astro for the 2005 Series when Houston was swept. We are stilted lovers opening our door to the person that dumped us without pause for self-respect.

Baseball’s simply a business I suppose; I guess I need to treat it as such. But it’s difficult to embrace the return of a decrepit Beltran when Jose Cruz, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and others stood firm with Houston and honored my home team with their talent.

Maybe Beltran, a very knowledgeable and experienced veteran, can impart valued guidance to youngsters Correa and Bregman. He has no real baseball home and no championship; maybe he’ll offer up miniscule regret for not helping Houston win in 2005. But frankly, I doubt it. Carlos got his money and apparently that is his sole loyalty. And hey, like I admitted, I’m a capitalist. Enjoy your riches, sir.

If your counsel helps vault our team of committed Houston Astros to a World Series win in 2017, well, that’s cool. We paid you $16 million for that. Thanks; but you aren’t a part of our team any more than you are a Royal, Met, Cardinal, Giant, Yankee or Ranger. Cash your check and go home.

I won’t boo you; but you ain’t baseball man.

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KC Baker
About the Author

K.C. Baker is an old school Astros fan, spending many a hot summer day in the cool confines of the Dome. He just finished his 28th year as a practicing attorney and likes to spend all of his spare time in New Braunfels, Texas with his wife of 29 years and their three children. Follow him on Twitter @KenCBake

  • JustinB1021

    Well… You sound like a tool.

    • Paul Webb

      He is on to something. Screw Beltran. Cheer if you want but he’s only a hired gun to me. We’ll okay just as long as Beltran’s bat is raking baseballs for singles, doubles and a lot of homeruns. I won’t cheer one ounce for him, but will be on him like white on rice just as soon as he slumps at the plate.

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