Last week, I posted a blog on how Joe Torre took a cheap shot at Mike Piazza, based on an excerpt from his book that appeared in the New York Post.
Today, Ben Shpigel of the NY Times, reports on yet another swipe Joe Torre takes at a Mets player; Carlos Beltran.
Scott Boras, Beltran’s agent, gave the Yankees one final shot at signing him and snatching him from the Mets’ grasp by proposing a six-year, $100 million contract — that’s for one year shorter and $19 million poorer than the Mets’ offer. The Yankees, having already added Carl Pavano and Randy Johnson, resisted.
With that in mind, Joe Torre touched on Beltran’s reported desire to take that discount and play for the Yankees in the book he co-wrote with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, “The Yankee Years.” Torre said: “Beltran wanted to come to us, so he could hide among the trees. Nobody wants to be that guy to lead.”
The insinuation by Torre is that Beltran wanted to get paid like a high profile star, but he didn’t want any of the spotlight that would normally come with such a contract. If he were to sign with the Yankees, he could have gotten lost among all the other stars on the team without having to be the front-man.
Joe Torre can bite me.
Beltran has been a force on the Mets from the moment he got here. His first year he was beset by injuries, but he quickly followed that season with MVP type numbers in 2006. He won his first two Gold Gloves since joining the Mets, and in my opinion, he is the best centerfielder in baseball. He is the ultimate five-tool player.
Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, both recently said that the Yankees made two critical mistakes since taking on more of the day to day operations of the team; not signing Carlos Beltran, and not trading for Johan Santana. Bang, Zoom… Nuff said.
As far as leadership goes, Beltran does most of his talking with his play on the field, and when the pressure is on, he turns it on in with his trademark hot Septembers. He is a class act that doesn’t get caught up in the Yankees type gossip page drama, and last season in an attempt to fire up his team, he did proclaim that the Mets were the team to beat.
Beltran did get a chance to respond to Joe Torre’s underhanded claim at a charity dinner last night.
“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.”
Shpigel concludes his piece by adding that Beltran has no plans to read the book. That makes two of us.