Sunday, April 17, 2005

Beltran Plays At The Mets...

Several major league baseball clubs sought after the services of superstar Carlos Beltran. Word got out that Beltran was not basing any decision on money itself. I am not certain what the basis was or would be. Perhaps love for the game, or a certain city, or the friendly people of a particular locale.

At any rate, Carlos refused an offer of $100 million over seven years to play for the Houston Astros. Then he proceeded to accept a seven-year contract for $119 million to play for the New York Mets.

I tend to be the emotional type. I cry easily. Please excuse me while I dry my eyes. It is so wonderful to see a great athlete agree to play for something other than the love of money.

On the other hand, the Mets may have had some options had they looked into it a little more. For example, I would have signed with the Mets to play outfield. They could have gotten me for around $100,000 plus shoes and clean uniforms. And I wouldn’t have been a stickler for clean uniforms. Do you know how intimidating it is to face an opponent that is wearing a uniform with dust and dirt on it? The dirt means that he plays rough and has hit the ground a time or two. By game’s end, the clean uniforms belong only to those subs that did not get any playing time.

Anyway, I gladly would have agreed to play centerfield for the Mets. And look at the money they would have saved. They could have gotten me for around $85,000. You see, I really love the game.

Granted, I would probably miss some fly balls. But some of those fly balls can go right over your head. Some of the balls go off to one side and you have to run to catch up with them. And probably I would not get any hits. You know that those big league pitchers can really fling that ball. They act like their jobs depend on it. But I would stand up there to the plate and take my three called strikes like a man. You can bet on that.

Since I’ll be 70 years old this year, I would have to conserve energy in order to chase those fly balls. The Mets’ trainer could drive me out to centerfield in a golf cart when it was time to go to the outfield. Then he could come pick me up to return to the dugout. This way, all my stored power could be used to reach those unreachable fly balls. And think of the romanticism …having a senior citizen playing in the outfield. Come to think of it, if the Mets had agreed to the golf cart idea, I would have signed for around $60,000.

They just didn’t know. They signed Beltran for $119 million when they could have gotten me for around $45,000. I just really love the sport.

Beltran indicated that he was impressed with the Mets because they flew all the way down to his hometown in Puerto Rico to visit with him. It also seems impressive to me that they laid out 119 million bucks on the table plus an $11,000,000 signing bonus. Shucks, I would have flown to New York to visit with the Mets. I love playing baseball so much. The Mets could have signed me for, say, around $35,000. And I would have gladly furnished my own shoes. And signing bonus? I wouldn’t have even brought up the subject. Just look at how much money the Mets threw away by just not looking around.

The Mets really messed up. You know, for around $25,000, I would have given them an outstanding effort. You see it’s not the money. I love the game. I would give my eye-teeth to play one inning for the Mets.

If only I had teeth.

Winston Hamby


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