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Where the Insult Lay
2004-12-18 07:54
by Jon Weisman

Is it "lay" or "lied?" I can never remember.

From Bill Plunkett in the Orange County Register (apologies to the Register for the extended excerpt - you should visit the paper's website to get more):

"It was real difficult. I never really believed, from the end of the season on, that I would have to leave L.A.," (Adrian) Beltre said by phone from Seattle on Friday where he was introduced as the Seattle Mariners' new third baseman.

"I know this. I sat around my house waiting for them (the Dodgers) to call and make an offer and they never did until, what, five days ago. ... I was a free agent for, what, two months? And they didn't make an offer until five days ago?"

Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said he was in almost daily contact with Beltre's agent, Scott Boras, who also represents several other high-profile free agents as well as current Dodgers Eric Gagne and Alex Cora. DePodesta, Beltre, Boras and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt had meetings in mid-November.

But it wasn't until last weekend's winter meetings that DePodesta said he was prepared to put an offer on the table for Beltre. ...

Beltre said the offer the Dodgers finally made was "never even close" to what he was being offered by other teams, including the five-year, $64 million deal he signed with the Mariners. The average salary in the Dodgers' offer was "30 to 35 percent less," - about $9 million a year - according to Beltre.

DePodesta would not discuss salary figures but did say the Dodgers extended their offer to six guaranteed years with an option for a seventh season.

"Even with that sixth year, it wasn't close," Beltre said. ...

Beltre clearly didn't enjoy the free-agent experience this time around.

"It's a sad thing that they never really tried to keep me there," he said of the Dodgers. "It was really, really hard for me to leave L.A. and the fans. They were cheering me all through my career, in the bad times and the good times."

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