Mariners Insider

Mariners make Beltre’s decision for him – no WBC

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Feb. 28, 2009 at 7:34 am with No Comments »
February 28, 2009 7:34 am

Adrian Beltre gave up his apartment, was ready to leave for the World Baseball Classic tomorrow and then got the news – the Seattle Mariners had made the decision for him and he won’t be going, after all.

"If it was my decision, I was ready to go," Beltre said. "They talked to my agent yesterday and to me today and said they’d made the decision. Maybe I was being a little selfish, but I wanted to go.

"I’d be angry if I didn’t understand, but I do. I’m a big piece of this team, and they don’t want to risk a setback."

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik made the decision, and said he did so in the best interest of the player and the team.

“We need this player, we need him badly, and we want him as healthy as he can be for 162 games,” Zduriencik said. “I was sympathetic with his heart – this is a special player. I know how hard he plays, whether he’s 100 per cent or not.

“The bottom line was, he wanted to play and I had to look at the bigger picture.”

Beltre is coming back from September surgery on his left shoulder and thumb, and has had some discomfort in the shoulder. By making the decision to keep him in camp, the Mariners can control the speed with which he prepares for the regular season.

"I may slow down a little now," Beltre said. "I may have been rushing this a little bit."

On Friday, he’d said following his heart would take him to the WBC and the Dominican Republic team. A day later, did that mean he was heartbroken?

"Yes," he said. "And I don’t have anywhere to live, either. Where ever Jack (Zduriencik) is staying, I’m going to show up at his door and ask for a room."

Zduriencik said that would be fine.

“I’ll be glad to give him my bed – my wife and I will move to the other room,” he said. “Adrian and his whole family can come stay with us.

All and all, a tough decision handled with class. Beltre took it with grace – something many players wouldn’t have done.

And Zduriencik made a call he knew would break the heart of a player he respects.

Now, we wait to see how it impacts Beltre, who is no longer in today’s lineup.

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