He said he wanted a winning organization, a comfortable clubhouse, a nice city, a home. He said that money was not the biggest issue. He said he like the ballpark in Houston, he liked living in Houston, his wife liked Houston, he enjoyed his Astros teammates. But in the end it was all about money. Read what Richard Justice for the Houston Chronicle has to say...
The Mets are about nothing.
The Mets are a bad team with a stupid front office. Despite throwing millions at a few high-profile free agents in recent years, they aren't close to being competitive.
They're promising they'll do things right under new general manager Omar Minaya. But even if Minaya is allowed the autonomy his predecessors never had, the Mets are years away from being competitive.
All the Mets can offer Beltran is money. That's apparently all that ever mattered.
Lets look at the Mets right now, last year they were 71-91, 4 games out of last place. In 2003 they were 66-95, last place. In 2002 they were 75-86, last place. In 2001 they were 82-80, 3rd place. Sounds like a winning organization to me. They did win the NL in 2000 and were the wild card in 1999. Before that you go back to 1988 before they were in the playoffs. The Mets aren't improving either, they've overpaid Pedro this off season, freeing the Boston Red Sox of that bad contract.
Meanwhile the Astros were in the playoffs 5 times the last 8 years, with divisional championships in 97, 98, 99, 01. They finished 2nd in 2002 and 2003. The only losing season since 1991 was in 2000 when they went 72-90. The Astros were one game from the World Series last year, and if Beltran came back they would be well on their way to make another run.
Lets look at the money. He took a deal that was 11 million more, or 9% more. New York City has a state and city income tax unlike Houston, TX. I've read he would have to make 4% more in New York just to off set the tax increase. The cost of living multiplier between NY and Houston is 2.5 as well. So, more money, but he won't see it. In fact he will net less money with his NY deal, but his agent still gets his cut. As far as the argument that we would all take the money, that is not true, I didn't take the money when I was coming out of school, I chose the job that I thought would make me the most happy. I don't think everyone just goes for the money, but athletes do.
O.K. the other argument is that Beltran will be in NY, the media capital of the world, so he will have more endorsement opportunities and make more money that way. But the Yankees run this town. When is the last time you saw a Met in a national ad campaign? I know that Tom Glavine was a bigger name with the Braves than with the Mets. Beltran is supposedly a laid back guy, playing in no pressure zones in KC and Houston. He was happy in Houston. Well, he is in the pressure cooker now. The Met fans will boo him on Opening Day if he doesn't perform. But he has his money, and that was all he cares about. Sports sucks now, why watch?
It is all about the Benjamin's.