Carlos Beltran Says He Was “Almost Dead” By the End of Last Year, Believes This Year Will Be Even Better for the CardinalsFebruary 19, 2013 – 10:15 am by Chris Fedor
Last year was Carlos Beltran’s first season in St. Louis. With the exception of one thing, it couldn’t have gone much better. Beltran hit 32 home runs, drove in nearly 100 runs and made it to his seventh All-Star game. Not to mention, despite dealing with numerous, nagging injuries at the end of the year in his 15th major league season, he helped the Cards get within one game of the World Series. And that’s the one thing that’s still missing from his tremendous resume. 15 years, five teams and still no World Series appearance. While his role is still yet to be defined heading into his 16th season and he’s spending time this spring mentoring his eventual replacement, his goal remains the same. Beltran will set out once again trying to stay healthy long enough to taste the champagne after a World Series win.
Carlos Beltran joined KSLG in St. Louis on the Morning After Show to talk about how tough this past season was for him, how he felt health-wise by the time the NLCS came around last year, how difficult it has been to come so close so many times only to fall short and what it means to hear his teammates say they want to return to the World Series for him.
How tough this past season was for him:
“Well at the beginning of Spring Training I was feeling great and I did a lot of work at Spring Training, played a lot of games and it really prepared me for the season. Once the season started I was doing fine but when you play 162 games you know that something is going to happen sooner or later. I dealt with some injuries, some issues but I was able to battle through and like I said, at the end of the day, I ended up having a good season and I feel like I helped the team offensively and defensively so it was a good year for me.”
How he felt by the end of the NLCS last year:
“I was almost dead. I was dealing with a forearm injury, left knee but once you’re playing those games there is no time to focus on injuries. You have to really go out there and try to fight for your team and try to do the best you can to help your team win.”
How difficult it is for him to come so close so many times only to fall short:
“Well, for me honestly and last year a lot of people told me about that, but I feel like a winner last year even though I didn’t win the World Series. Just being able to have the opportunity to play in playoff games, the Cardinals gave me the opportunity, the team gave me the opportunity, Mike Matheny gave me the opportunity, so for me it was great to be a part of last year’s ball club. This year I’m looking forward to hopefully getting that opportunity again.”
What he thinks when he hears the Cardinals saying that they may have to give him more days off to keep him healthier:
“It will depend on how well I do. I feel good, I feel healthy and I’m looking forward to coming here and doing what I know I can do. You have to wait and see.”
On his teammates saying they want to get back to the World Series for him:
Well we have such a good group of guys so for me, being able to sign with this team was really a blessing for me because I got an opportunity to play with so many good people. People that are behind you when you’re up or when you’re down, the whole team is together. Last year we stayed as a group and this year we’re looking forward to the same. Mike Matheny did a great job leading this ball club with the way he is and his personality so we all think the same way he thinks. For me, this second year with the Cardinals is going to be an even better one, I believe so.”