Have to say it was a bit unusual to hear GM Sandy Alderson map out the plan for Carlos Beltran's "running program" before having the outfielder speak to the media yesterday. The assumption was Beltran would begin spring training as the centerfielder, and if his knees wouldn't allow him to play the position adequately, than he would concede the position to Angel Pagan.

But that's not the plan, evidently. Instead, Beltran will use the next 7-10 days to gauge the strength of his surgically repaired right knee, and then both he and team officials will come to a joint decision on where he should play. The fact that Beltran needs this trial run, so to speak, and also talked a lot about the rest of his career -- yes, on a team other than the Mets -- I have to think he'll wind up in rightfield to start the season. We'll know soon.

- Sandy Koufax made his annual visit to Mets camp and actually spoke about the Madoff situation, briefly coming to the defense of his longtime friend Fred Wilpon.

- Oh, and Terry Collins was not thrilled yesterday that he was still kept waiting by Luis Castillo, who will need to show up today for his physical.


Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months