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Thursday, 08 June 2006

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Rodney Herring

If the Carlos in question is Beltrán, then I'm not in the least surprised by this story. The Astros, their fans, and many Houstonians feel precisely like this unfortunate monkey.

And hence, my hatred for the Mets.

Scott Eric Kaufman

They could've kept him had they ponied up Clemens dollars for him. He wanted to stay, from all reports, but if I remember correctly, Houston cut off the bargaining at $89M for 5 years. Beltrán didn't want much more, and the Mets overpaid by about $20M over the life of the deal. (That said, I swear I didn't post that next Commonplace to needle you. I lined up about fifteen of them that first night, and that one just happened to be the next one.)

Rodney Herring

No, painful as the reminder of the '86 NLCS is, I'm sure you think of things other than me when you post. And still, the pain over losing Beltrán was probably worse--because of an irrational attachment to Beltrán himself, what amounts, if I'm properly self-deprecating, to a schoolboy-type crush: Carlos broke my heart.

However, to clear up your bad information: Houston offered $100M for a 7 year deal, with an option for an 8th year at another $14M. Yeah, the Mets finally paid more--at $119M over 7 yrs.--though with Houston's low cost of living, I've seen analyses that show he actually lost a lot of money by choosing the Mets. In the end, it's said to be the no-trade clause that Boras came up with 2 hours before the signing deadline that kept Beltrán from signing with Houston.

But as Jeff Bagwell noted a few days later, it probably didn't have that much to do with money (or even the no-trade clause, which for complicated reasons having to do with MLB's "10 and 5 rule" wouldn't have even mattered after 2008). It was a matter of choosing New York City over Houston. And although (in Bagwell's words) "money changes a lot of things," it apparently didn't change enough to make Houston livable (despite the Houston community's poignant appeals to connect on an ethnic level with Carlos).

"I just didn't get the feeling he was going to come back," Bagwell said on Sunday from his home in Houston. "Obviously, money changes a lot of things. But I just didn't think he wanted to come back. I thought New York was always his destination. But I didn't think it was the Mets."

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