ST. LOUIS The Cardinals knew they were getting an All-Star caliber player when they signed outfielder Carlos Beltran to a two-year contract over the offseason. They had no idea they were getting an All-Star person.
Two weeks into the young season Beltran has proven to be worth every penny of the Cardinals' 26 million investment for the next two years.
On the field he's hitting .351 with a team-leading four home runs. Off the field he's gone out of his way to give as much advice possible to the younger players.
"I think he's been more," said manager Mike Matheny when asked if Beltran has been what the Cardinals expected. "With how much effort he's putting into other guys, he's right in the middle of the game and he's in there cheerleading and talking with guys and helping them try to figure out an approach and talking about opposing pitchers' stuff.
"He wants to win and he wants to see other guys do well and for a guy as talented as he is, you don't always see that mix."