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View Full Version : Royals JoPo: Beltran Blossomed in KC


Deberg_1990
07-23-2008, 07:39 AM
Good read. I cant believe its been almost 10 years since he first got called up. Wow....

How good would this current Royals team look with a player of his caliber in the middle of the lineup??


http://www.kansascity.com/180/story/712372.html


By JOE POSNANSKI
The Kansas City Star

CINCINNATI | Hereís something that might make you feel old. We are coming up on the 10th anniversary of Carlos Beltranís first game with the Royals.

Ten years. Now, the last true superstar the Royals ever developed is here in the New York Mets clubhouse, and he has a bat in his hand, and he is entertaining eight or nine Mets with some sort of one-man baseball play. Itís in Spanish, so itís hard for me to pick up the specific plotlines, but the play is obviously hilarious because Mets are falling over each other laughing.

Then again, everyone laughs at Beltranís jokes now. Heís a New York star. Heís the show. Heís the guy on the back page of the New York Post and Daily News. He has had surgeries on both knees, he has hit 250 home runs, he has stolen 250 bases (heís already one of only 17 to do both ó and heís only 31), he has won Gold Gloves the last two years, he is making $17 million per year. That can make the jokes funnier.

Still, the amazing part is that heís the one telling the jokes. Back when he was called up to Kansas City ó Sept. 14, 1998, if youíre planning a party ó you couldnít get him to talk even with a good-cop, bad-cop routine. He seemed scared and alone, he did not feel comfortable with his English, he did not feel sure that he belonged in the major leagues. He was just a frightened kid then, and the memory that lingers is of him sitting alone at his locker at Kauffman Stadium while making a radio-controlled car rumble all over the clubhouse. He never seemed to say anything, and he never seemed to tire of that car. It was as if somebodyís little brother had sneaked in.

ďI learned a lot about myself in Kansas City,Ē Beltran is saying now. ďItís like I grew up there. I still think about Kansas City a lot.Ē

Well, thatís good because Kansas City thinks about him a lot, too. Maybe people donít think about Beltran himself ó but what he represents. He was the last superstar. He was the lottery ticket that hit. He was the last guy the Royals signed, developed and watched become a player so good that the Yankees and Red Sox and Mets and Cardinals and all the rest drooled. He could do everything ó hit, run, throw, slug, you name it. He was the guy Royals general manager Allard Baird said, ďcould be as good as he wants to be. If he wants to steal 40 bases, he could do that. If he wants to hit 40 home runs he could do that. If he wants to hit .300 he could do that.Ē

He has, in fact, done all of that, and hereís how much people in the Heartland miss Carlos Beltran: Saturday night in Omaha, they gave out Carlos Beltran statues to the first 1,500 fans to show up for the Class AAA game against Round Rock. It seems that Beltran was voted the fansí favorite Omaha Royals player this decade, which is nice except Ö Beltran played exactly five games with Omaha.

He did hit two home runs in those five games, so there is that.

But that just shows you the power of the Beltran memory. He was an example of the Royals doing everything right. In 1995, when Beltran was playing high school baseball in Puerto Rico, a lot of teams gave up on him. Scouts loved his talent, but they were not sure he had the drive. Thatís why the Royals were able to take him in the second round. He hit .245 his first three seasons in the minor leagues without much power or speed.

And then, suddenly, he blossomed ó detonated, really. He was called up to Class AA Wichita when he was 21, and in 47 games he hit .352, cracked 14 home runs, stole seven out of eight bases, and the Royals were like: ďHoly cow, whatís this?Ē The Royals called him up immediately, and sure he looked scared, but on the field he had this star quality, you could see it right away. The Royals made him the starting center fielder the next spring and told him, ďDonít worry about hitting. Just catch the ball and relax.Ē

Beltran promptly hit 22 homers, stole 27 bases, and he became the first rookie since Joe DiMaggio to score 100 runs and drive in 100. He won Rookie of the Year, of course.

And at that very moment, lost in the joy of watching the most exciting player the Royals had since Bo was young, the countdown began: Everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the Royals would not be able to afford Carlos Beltran.

And thatís how it played out. The Royals traded him away because he was going to leave anyway. He went to Houston and had one of the great playoff performances ever. He went to New York and has started in three All-Star Games, won two Gold Gloves, wowed them and let them down, like superstars do.

Heís grown up now. Heís heard the cheers, heís heard the boos, he knows his place in the game. And he is precisely the sort of player the Royals donít have, canít afford, the established superstar, the magazine cover, the guy who has seen everything, the guy who people buy tickets to see, the guy everyone in the clubhouse tries to impress.

ďSure, I feel more comfortable now,Ē he says. ďIím a lot older. Iíve been through a lot, you know? Iíve done a few things in baseball now. Iím a different person than I was in Kansas City, really.

ďI love playing for New York. We have a chance to win here. If we need a player, we go out and get a player. Itís a good feeling. A lot of teams donít do that. Itís not just Kansas City. A lot of teams, I think they want to win, but they donít want to spend money to win.Ē

Here Beltran smiled.

ďGood players cost a lot of money,Ē he said.

He has learned a lot in ten years. But thatís probably the truest lesson of them all.

BigChiefFan
07-23-2008, 07:48 AM
Too bad ownership is a bunch of cheap asses.

Demonpenz
07-23-2008, 08:25 AM
The walkoff homerun he had and that stupid 360 of him robbing a homerun was my favorite beltran memories. I also used to like how they would play scenes of gladiator when he came up thus earning the nickname maximus. I never saw mantle play but I figure beltran is close to him,

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 08:28 AM
I never saw mantle play but I figure beltran is close to him,

Obviously I've seen Mantle only in various clips, but my sense is that you're talking craziness. Beltran, though a hell of a talent, was never really the 5-tool player he was often described as; he never really had the arm strength.

beavis
07-23-2008, 08:30 AM
Too bad ownership is a bunch of cheap asses.

Boras was never going to let him sign here. Period.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 08:33 AM
Boras was never going to let him sign here. Period.

If the organization would have shown Beltran a pile of cash as a young player, he likely would have signed. Waiting until his contract year was a mistake. Look what happened with Longoria. He plays for 5 minutes and is inked long-term.

I'm forgetting the specifics, but at the time I don't believe that the Royals and Beltran were that far apart, but ultimately Glass didn't loosen the purse strings. Sweeney was good enough to appease the fans, from the Glass' perspective, I suppose.

Demonpenz
07-23-2008, 08:34 AM
Obviously I've seen Mantle only in various clips, but my sense is that you're talking craziness. Beltran, though a hell of a talent, was never really the 5-tool player he was often described as; he never really had the arm strength.

beltran has a strong arm.

Valiant
07-23-2008, 08:37 AM
If the organization would have shown Beltran a pile of cash as a young player, he likely would have signed. Look what happened with Longoria. He plays for 5 minutes and is inked long-term.

I'm forgetting the specifics, but at the time I don't believe that the Royals and Beltran were that far apart, but ultimately Glass didn't loosen the purse strings. Sweeney was good enough to appease the fans, from the Glass' perspective, I suppose.

With the Royal curse of the last two decades, if he would have signed he would have become like Sweeny imo..

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 08:37 AM
beltran has a strong arm.

I'm not saying he's Damon, but...

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 08:39 AM
With the Royal curse of the last two decades, if he would have signed he would have become like Sweeny imo..

Maybe. But I like it when my team at least tries, you know. Everyone has bad luck, but not everyone packs it in before things begin.

Frazod
07-23-2008, 08:47 AM
I've learned to hate Beltran over the years. And while he does have talent, and is a pain in the ass, he is also a CHOKE ARTIST LOSER when it matters most.

Him starring at strike three from Wainwright in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS was one of the greatest moments of my sports fan life.

StcChief
07-23-2008, 08:50 AM
so is Soria the next X-Royal ?

Deberg_1990
07-23-2008, 08:52 AM
Boras was never going to let him sign here. Period.


Money talks. Bullsh*t walks.

Obviously Mr. Wal Mart likes Bullsh*t.

VAChief
07-23-2008, 08:54 AM
I've learned to hate Beltran over the years. And while he does have talent, and is a pain in the ass, he is also a CHOKE ARTIST LOSER when it matters most.

Him starring at strike three from Wainwright in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS was one of the greatest moments of my sports fan life.

That one pitch might be the best single descriptor for that season...extremely unexpected...I was so used to seeing him play out of his a** against us I expected another letdown.

markk
07-23-2008, 09:00 AM
Can you guys name a single Boras client who's ever said he wanted to test free agency and then resigned at any price?

And for those of you scoring at home, Beltran is hitting .268 as of today, and will be paid $18.6 million this season. In fact he's never hit anywhere close to .300 since leaving the Royals, even with the benefit of a lot more protection in the lineup. And obviously, he hasn't come up in the post season for the Mets.

You could definitely make the argument that Beltran has failed to meet expectations in New York, and as popular as he is, he's significantly overpaid. It's not good value for the Mets to be devoting 15% of their payroll to him and they are the 2nd highest payroll in baseball. In Kansas City he'd be closer to a quarter of it.

Not good value. The Royals could spend that 20 on a couple of good starting pitchers or a couple of good bats in the lineup. You might be able to get two similar players for that.

Demonpenz
07-23-2008, 09:05 AM
Can you guys name a single Boras client who's ever said he wanted to test free agency and then resigned at any price?

And for those of you scoring at home, Beltran is hitting .268 as of today, and will be paid $18.6 million this season. In fact he's never hit anywhere close to .300 since leaving the Royals, even with the benefit of a lot more protection in the lineup. And obviously, he hasn't come up in the post season for the Mets.

You could definitely make the argument that Beltran has failed to meet expectations in New York, and as popular as he is, he's significantly overpaid. It's not good value for the Mets to be devoting 15% of their payroll to him and they are the 2nd highest payroll in baseball. In Kansas City he'd be closer to a quarter of it.

Not good value. The Royals could spend that 20 on a couple of good starting pitchers or a couple of good bats in the lineup. You might be able to get two similar players for that.


Plus with the without teahen and buck we may loose upto 96 games

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 09:32 AM
. The Royals could spend that 20 on a couple of good starting pitchers or a couple of good bats in the lineup. You might be able to get two similar players for that.

Who? Name a good position player that any team, particularly the Royals, could acquire for around 10 mil. Now name a second.

I'm not even going to discuss getting high-quality starting pitching for that amount.

markk
07-23-2008, 09:40 AM
Who? Name a good position player that any team, particularly the Royals, could acquire for around 10 mil. Now name a second.

I'm not even going to discuss getting high-quality starting pitching for that amount.

So every good position player in the majors makes 15 million? A fairly reliable starting pitcher will make about 10.

I'm not talking about superstars. Just worthy everyday players.

Ari Chi3fs
07-23-2008, 09:41 AM
This makes me sick.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 09:58 AM
So every good position player in the majors makes 15 million? A fairly reliable starting pitcher will make about 10.

I'm not talking about superstars. Just worthy everyday player

No, but once players hit FA they're grossly overvalued, as you know. That's why I wanted you to specify whom you'd like to see the team sign.

For example, I consider Guillen to be a steady, everyday player, not a superstar, and 10 mil. probably wouldn't have brought him here, even with all of his baggage.

Pitching is even more of a joke. In today's market, I think that 10 might, might get you a #4 or #5 starter, and the Royals seem to have plenty of those.

markk
07-23-2008, 10:03 AM
No, but once players hit FA they're grossly overvalued, as you know. That's why I wanted you to specify whom you'd like to see the team sign.

For example, I consider Guillen to be a steady, everyday player, not a superstar, and 10 mil. probably wouldn't have brought him here.

Pitching is even more of a joke. In today's market, I think that 10 might, might get you a #4 or #5 starter, and the Royals seem to have plenty of those.

Ok, so Guillen is performing similarly and making $12 million and not $10 million. Sorry. I don't know why we're quibbling about that.

The point of it all was that Beltran is a nice player but is grossly overpaid and his best years (like 2003) were in Kansas City and seem like they might be behind him.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 10:14 AM
Ok, so Guillen is performing similarly and making $12 million and not $10 million. Sorry. I don't know why we're quibbling about that.

The point of it all was that Beltran is a nice player but is grossly overpaid and his best years (like 2003) were in Kansas City and seem like they might be behind him.

I really don't care if he's overpaid. I wish like hell the Royals had given him the money to stay because he's more than a nice player. I'm sick of the Emil Browns of the world.

If you believe '03 was Beltran's best. Here's his line, part of it:
2003: .307 26 HR 100 RBI

In NY, he's been solid:
2005: .266 16 HR 78 RBI
2006: .275 41 HR 116 RBI
2007: .276 33 HR 112 RBI

Obviously we all know what he brings defensively. My point is that Beltran can't be the ONLY good player on a team--he's not the world's greatest anything--but he's certainly the quality of player that I'd always like to have on my team. It amazes me how many people care about Glass's bank account. **** him. Spend the money. Get good players.

Deberg_1990
07-23-2008, 10:24 AM
I really don't care if he's overpaid. I wish like hell the Royals had given him the money to stay because he's more than a nice player. I'm sick of the Emil Browns of the world.

If you believe '03 was Beltran's best. Here's his line, part of it:
2003: .307 26 HR 100 RBI

In NY, he's been solid:
2005: .266 16 HR 78 RBI
2006: .275 41 HR 116 RBI
2007: .276 33 HR 112 RBI

Obviously we all know what he brings defensively. My point is that Beltran can't be the ONLY good player on a team--he's not the world's greatest anything--but he's certainly the quality of player that I'd always like to have on my team. It amazes me how many people care about Glass's bank account. **** him. Spend the money. Get good players.


Well said. Todays game sucks. Nothing pisses me off more than losing a home grown talented player.

If Brett were a Royal today he would have only lasted 4 season in KC.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 10:29 AM
If Brett were a Royal today he would have only lasted 4 season in KC.

You're right that this would have been the case for the past 15 years or so.

I'm more hopeful now than I've been in a long time that the Royals organization is going to make a legit. effort to win, and this is because of this year's draft, particularly the selection of Melville in the 4th round.

This kid reportedly wanted huge money, around 1.5 mil. to sign (which is off the charts with respect to the slotting system at this point in the draft) and the team still took him, after selecting Hosmer, who also supposedly wants big-time cash.

This is what "real" teams have done for years. It's cool that KC has decided to play ball, finally. ****ing Glass you worthless sack of monkey shit.

markk
07-23-2008, 10:36 AM
I really don't care if he's overpaid. I wish like hell the Royals had given him the money to stay because he's more than a nice player. I'm sick of the Emil Browns of the world.

If you believe '03 was Beltran's best. Here's his line, part of it:
2003: .307 26 HR 100 RBI

In NY, he's been solid:
2005: .266 16 HR 78 RBI
2006: .275 41 HR 116 RBI
2007: .276 33 HR 112 RBI

Obviously we all know what he brings defensively. My point is that Beltran can't be the ONLY good player on a team--he's not the world's greatest anything--but he's certainly the quality of player that I'd always like to have on my team. It amazes me how many people care about Glass's bank account. **** him. Spend the money. Get good players.

His batting average is down 40 points. Without looking, he's not stealing bases like he did either.

The point of that post before I got carried away is that a lot of retards think we could have put 15 mil in front of him and he would have stayed. He was not resigning. They said it over and over. Now it sounds like he looks back and remembers good times here, but that doesn't mean he was going to walk away from 20 million more over 4 or 5 years to stay. It's ridiculous.

I'm glad Kansas City is spending money now for their sake, but the Mets are spending almost $150 million this year. What is another million or two on top of that to outbid them for whoever it is they want? If a team like the Yankees or Mets wants a free agent and KC does too, they will be in New York no matter how willing Glass is to pay up to market.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 10:42 AM
If a team like the Yankees or Mets wants a free agent and KC does too, they will be in New York no matter how willing Glass is to pay up to market.

That's probably going to be largely true. That's why teams like the Royals have to identify talent early and be willing to spend the money when the player is young, a la Soria. Great deal. Same thing should have happened with Beltran. The organization should have never allowed him to get to the final year of his contract.

Sometimes this process causes a team to get burned. Look at the Berroa deal. But I'm more than willing to take this chance, as long as ownership realizes that sometimes a team has to eat a contract or two. Sometimes shit happens. No organization should sit around, throwing up its hands, over a Sweeney signing, for example. People bitched about this for years, like the problem was the player. He got paid. Good for him. The problem wasn't Sweeney. The problem was that he was the only decent talent on an otherwise joke of a team, and, when he broke down, KC was really in a jam.

My final thought on this is that it will be important to worry about how much a player is really worth once the Royals' payroll gets into a competitive range. Don't spend to spend, but identify a target and go get him. This is why I wanted Hunter, and I didn't give a shit if the Royals overpaid by 1 or even 5 mil. Who cares?

The Cardinals should be the model for the Royals. Once we get there, then saying we shouldn't spend X on player X is more logical. Right now, we need all the ****ing talent we can get. Glass's bank account is the least of my concerns.

Dartgod
07-23-2008, 10:45 AM
His batting average is down 40 points. Without looking, he's not stealing bases like he did either.

The point of that post before I got carried away is that a lot of retards think we could have put 15 mil in front of him and he would have stayed. He was not resigning. They said it over and over. Now it sounds like he looks back and remembers good times here, but that doesn't mean he was going to walk away from 20 million more over 4 or 5 years to stay. It's ridiculous.

I'm glad Kansas City is spending money now for their sake, but the Mets are spending almost $150 million this year. What is another million or two on top of that to outbid them for whoever it is they want? If a team like the Yankees or Mets wants a free agent and KC does too, they will be in New York no matter how willing Glass is to pay up to market.
Exactly. Royals fans should not be pissed that we let Beltran go. We should be pissed because for two decades we failed to develop a minor league system that could replace talent that decided to leave for the Yankees, Red Sox, and other high payroll rosters.

That's where Glass really failed this organization.

beavis
07-23-2008, 10:48 AM
Exactly. Royals fans should not be pissed that we let Beltran go. We should be pissed because for two decades we failed to develop a minor league system that could replace talent that decided to leave for the Yankees, Red Sox, and other high payroll rosters.

That's where Glass really failed this organization.

You are correct sir. I will never bash Glass for not overpaying for players, but what has happened to our farm system is a travesty. At least it's headed in the right direction now, but it's still going to take years to fix it.

markk
07-23-2008, 10:52 AM
Exactly. Royals fans should not be pissed that we let Beltran go. We should be pissed because for two decades we failed to develop a minor league system that could replace talent that decided to leave for the Yankees, Red Sox, and other high payroll rosters.

That's where Glass really failed this organization.

Actually, the team was a full rotten disaster already when Glass took it over. Robinson had been GM since 1991.

The decline started with free spending toward the end of Mr. Kauffman's life on players that didn't work out. The minor league system was in decline though, for sure.

The death knell was the strike in 94 - the team was going to the postseason that year possibly. They lost 90 games in 1992 but were 13 games over .500 in 1994 when the strike happened. Then Herk Robinson decided to fire McRae for this and bring in Bob Boone, who promply returned the team to 90+ loss territory.

If people hate Jack Steadman, well, Herk Robinson is just like him.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 10:54 AM
Exactly. Royals fans should not be pissed that we let Beltran go. We should be pissed because for two decades we failed to develop a minor league system that could replace talent that decided to leave for the Yankees, Red Sox, and other high payroll rosters.

That's where Glass really failed this organization.

Agreed. What happened to the farm system was a travesty.

Why would you not want to retain a very talented player? He should have never seen the final year of his contract. At some point, it can't be a constant rebuild.

DeezNutz
07-23-2008, 10:56 AM
Actually, the team was a full rotten disaster already when Glass took it over. Robinson had been GM since 1991.

The decline started with free spending toward the end of Mr. Kauffman's life on players that didn't work out. The minor league system was in decline though, for sure.

The death knell was the strike in 94 - the team was going to the postseason that year possibly. They lost 90 games in 1992 but were 13 games over .500 in 1994 when the strike happened. Then Herk Robinson decided to fire McRae for this and bring in Bob Boone, who promply returned the team to 90+ loss territory.

If people hate Jack Steadman, well, Herk Robinson is just like him.

Sure, the years between Mr. K's death and Glass's purchase of the team were terrible. I give Glass no pass, however. I'm very happy someone purchased the team to keep it in KC, but that's where any praise or excuses for Glass end.

markk
07-23-2008, 11:10 AM
Sure, the years between Mr. K's death and Glass's purchase of the team were terrible. I give Glass no pass, however. I'm very happy someone purchased the team to keep it in KC, but that's where any praise or excuses for Glass end.

I didn't say I gave him one. I just said the team was run into the ground long before he and his jewelry store manager son ever came into town