Joe Girardi thinks he has a 39-year-old Hall of Famer on his team, and possibly an All-Star this season. Carlos Beltran says why stop there? With the way he’s feeling right now, he may even be able to go for two more years.
“Right now, I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to go out and play and the preparation that I’m doing is no different than what I used to do 10 years ago,” said Beltran, who has eight homers in his last 19 games. “I haven’t iced my knees in five, six years. My knees don’t give me problems. Yeah, there’s other stuff where maybe we don’t recuperate as well as we used to 10 years ago, but I try to do the best I can to take care of that.”
Beltran is in a contract year, and has been open to the idea that, health permitting, he’d like to keep playing. The best-case scenario, he said, is to make it to 20 years — he’ll have 18 full seasons at the end of this season. It helps that he’s hitting .281 with 16 homers and 41 RBIs in what Joe Girardi called “an incredible year.”
“I think he’s having an All-Star year,” Girardi said. “He’s a treat to be around and I’m going to play him as much as I can.”
Although Beltran, who hit a two-run homer in the seventh last night to give the Yankees a 12-5 lead, prefers playing in the field and has previously stated that he’d like to stay with the Yankees, he said that he understands the business of baseball and would be open to a DH role in the future. And for all he’s accomplished — he just reached another milestone, his 1,000th extra-base hit, on Tuesday — there’s still more to do.
“I want to give myself a chance to hopefully win a World Series,” said Beltran, who’s only made it to the World Series once, losing with the Cardinals in 2013. “I feel that’s something I would love to experience before I make my last call.”