Posted on January 21, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Beltran spent a few minutes with the media before his scheduled autograph session at Winter Warm-Up today. It didn't take long for the conversation to turn to his contract year and potential future plans.
"Honestly, what is ahead," Beltran said, "Only God knows what is ahead. They (the Cardinals) don't really have to come to me and explain it to me, but it depends on how this year goes. We'll see what happens."
He then took the opportunity to express his feelings about his time with the Redbirds.
"I really love playing here, there's no doubt about that. I've been playing a long time...Good clubhouse, so many good people. Playing in front of these fans, they really support you when you do well or you do terrible. It's a great feeling.
"Playing in a city like this makes everything easy. My wife really loves it. Love the town. We'll see...we'll see what happens."
But it's not just the city or the fans that are responsible for wooing the Beltran family. Having played in multiple environments for multiple teams, Carlos can't help but compare this Cardinals clubhouse to previous clubhouses in New York, Houston, and even Kansas City.
"Distraction-wise, a lot better," he said. "Teammate-wise, the (previous) clubhouses...we had good teammates, but in this clubhouse...everyone really gets along well. There were no distractions at all (in 2012), the whole season."
Put it all together - the fans, the city, the clubhouse, and especially the chance to play for championships year to year - and Beltran also can't help but hope the St. Louis organization finds a place for him beyond 2013.
"I would love to (hear from them), but I gotta say I understand the business of this game. This is not the first time that I've been in this situation. I understand the team is going to do what is best for the organization."
As for his part, he's content to focus on this season and enjoy his time with the Cardinals.
"I'm happy. I'm thinking about this year. I'm looking forward to this year. I don't have a timetable at all. When they approach me is fine. I'm not gonna' try to force things. I'm just gonna' let things happen."
- Kevin Reynolds
A BIT MORE:
- Beltran said he feels "great," which is more or less the norm for baseball players, but what was interesting was his specific comparison to last offseason. He said last year, with his knee, he was limited in what he could do while training. This year, however, the limitation, for the most part, seems to be gone, and this year he's doing those things he couldn't do last year.
- He said the WBC is part of the process when it comes to getting ready for the regular season. This is a sentiment echoed by players like Molina as well. Players don't seem to be expecting to be 100% ready for the WBC but rather see it as part of their work to get prepared for April.
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