Q. Welcome to Puerto Rico's largest town, the Bronx. You are a veteran of postseason play. How would you describe this postseason, 2017, with the Houston Astros back in the Bronx?CARLOS BELTRAN: It's been fun. I think when you see these two teams, you see a lot of similarities. You
Q. Welcome to Puerto Rico's largest town, the Bronx. You are a veteran of postseason play. How would you describe this postseason, 2017, with the Houston Astros back in the Bronx?
CARLOS BELTRAN: It's been fun. I think when you see these two teams, you see a lot of similarities. You see younger guys, a lot of talent.
Having the opportunity to play in Houston this year, but also having the opportunity to play in the Yankees last three years, it has been a fun years for me being the veteran guy, being around so many young guys.
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I think the future of baseball looks real bright when you see all the talent. And guys like our ballclub, when I look around our ballclub and I look around third base, shortstop, second base, I see guys that could be impact players for a long time to come.
But also when I look at the other dugout and I see guys like Severino, Judge, and Gary Sanchez, I also see guys that could be a big impact players in baseball.
So it's fun to be around. And honestly, it's a blessing for me that God has given me this opportunity at this time in my career.
Q. A lot of the guys in the clubhouse mention often how nice it is to have veterans like you, McCann, adding Verlander. How much do you talk to them at this point in the season about being here and your previous experiences in the playoffs?
CARLOS BELTRAN: We have conversations in the clubhouse, in the plane about baseball. These guys are hungry for baseball. They want to learn. They ask a lot of good questions, which is great for me. I'm passionate about passing on the things that I have learned in the game of baseball.
So I always try to make them aware of how blessed it is to have this opportunity when you get to play in a playoff in October. It doesn't happen very often. The fact that it's happening for us, we have to embrace the moment, try to take advantage and try to use the platform to do something special for the organization, for themself.
And at the end of the day, me being able to play in previous October games, I try to pass on to them that it's fun, yes, it's a lot of pressure, but at the end of the day, you have to be able to manage your emotions, be able to go out there and do whatever you have to do.
Q. You're a student of hitting. What makes Altuve such a great hitter? Is there anybody you've played with, against, over the last 20 years that you could compare him to?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Honestly, I never seen anything like him. He does a lot of things in the batting cage that sometimes you would not want a lot of guys to do it. He hit across, he pull the outside pitch, and shoot it down the line. Normally you would tell a guy like him, Man, go with the pitch, make sure you strike toward the pitcher.
He's a unique hitter. He does spend a lot of work, a lot of time in the media room watching pitchers, working on his swing. He take a lot of pride into hitting, even though he's real humble about it, which is great for me to see that in a guy that has won three batting championship, it's amazing.
Honestly, we talk about approach more than mechanics. He's not a mechanical guy. He's more like an approach guy. And sometimes when he get lost, he gets lost in his mind, he's mechanical, because he knows how to hit.
The good thing also with him is he doesn't really get lost a lot. He only get lost for a couple of games without a hit and he get back into rhythm. He's a great athlete. I'm happy to have the opportunity to play with a guy like him.
Q. In the last five games the Yankees are batting close to .170. You know these Yankees batters personally. How surprised are you the Yankees are not hitting well lately?
CARLOS BELTRAN: We're not hitting at all, neither. These game has been close, close games, has been pitching games. Our starting pitchers have been able to go out there and pitch good games, the same way they've been doing. They have been close games.
Sometimes you expect things to go differently. But when you look at the history of postseason, it's pitching matchups. Whoever pitches the best is the team that's going to win the most games.
So they've been able to win the first two games at home. We haven't been able to do a lot of damage like we did in the regular season.
Q. A.J. talked to us about the importance of you guys having fun, even in these pressure-packed moments. What's the fun aspect of bringing this team into this setting, where you guys know everybody is going to be lined against you, the crowd is after you, all that stuff?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Early in the year we have the experience of coming and playing the Yankees here at home. These guys, man, these guys are hungry, our guys are hungry. '15 have the opportunity to play here in a playoff game, when I was in the other side, and they came here ready to play baseball. They got that opportunity in 2015, I think it was. And they were very close to go to the World Series with the team that they have.
I do believe that this year the team that they have is better because of the experience that you gain in baseball. They've been in this situation before. They want to go out there and they want to make it happen and it's fun to watch that.
Q. You know from your personal experience how hard it is for a team to make the playoffs year after year, no matter how much talent there is. Is there any advice you would give to the front office manager or your teammates about the key to building on what you guys are doing right now?
CARLOS BELTRAN: The good thing that I have seen this year with this organization is they set up a good plan in Spring Training to work together. We create an environment in the clubhouse where everyone is looking after everyone. And it's fun to see that. These guys have played against each other in the Minor Leagues for a long time so basically they came up together.
It's kind of like the same as the Yankees right now. They're young. All these guys played together in the Minor Leagues. So they gonna have time to get to know each other more. And I think it's good that they can build on that.
The Houston Astros, they have a good coaching staff. A.J. has done a real good job being able to put different lineups out there. But at the end of the day he also has been able to communicate well with the guys. They also have a guy that's super passionate, Alex Cora, bench coach, the guy always bringing something to the table for the younger guys, which is great.
So the fact that we have create this environment is fun and also has paid off. I don't think people get to this type of games by luck. You have to build, since Spring Training, regular season, to get to this point.
Q. Every chance he gets, Carlos Correa talks about how much he's learned from you this year, that you sort of taught him things that he never thought of about the game. Can you explain a little bit about the connection you two have made since the start of the season, and what it's been like for you to work with a player as young and talented as him.
CARLOS BELTRAN: It's unbelievable. It's a great experience. I'm so proud of him. I'm proud of how he's been able to handle every situation. He's so smart. He's so passionate about the game. He doesn't want to be good; he wants to be great.
And when I see that in a younger guy like that I'm motivated to help him and to share information, information that has been key for me in my career. He knows that I love the game. He knows that I study the game.
So since Spring Training we've been able to spend a lot of time together. I've been able to show him a few things that I do that I've been successful in my career. And he's a good learner, man. It's not difficult to teach a guy that already he's a fine-tune player.
So sometimes as veteran guys we get caught up in the middle because you want to share a lot but sometimes you have to be a two-way street, where the younger guy also is willing to listen and also willing to apply what you're trying to pass to them.
Q. When you were with the Astros in '04, you had a closer Brad Lidge who threw hard and had a great slider, same thing now with Giles. Do you recognize any similarities in the way Giles attacks, the way Brad did?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Yeah, they're similar. Honestly, they were slider guys. They threw a lot of slider, even though they threw 95. Giles throw almost 100 miles an hour.
Giles has been key for us big time all season long. He's super quiet, super humble, works extremely hard. He's a closer, but before the game starts he's already in the bullpen. So sometimes you see a lot of closers going to the bullpen by the 6th, 7th inning, he wants to be there early. I think that show you how passionate he is about the game of baseball, he wants to watch the game.
So A.J. also has done a good job with him, being able to put him in the situation when he can be successful. We are where we are because of contributions like Giles.
Q. You've been on teams with a lot of old veteran players. Now you're on a team with a lot of young players. I'm sure you can remember when you were a young player. Is there a difference in emotion, attitude, approach, when you're young in this situation and when you've been here a few times?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, you know what, I think when you've been here in this type of situation you know how to control your emotions. Sometimes for me it's -- I'm pretty low-key guy. So I don't show a lot of emotion. So I think that's been helpful to me to basically stay in control.
Sometimes younger guys, they get emotional. But it's good, you know, it's good to show the emotions. I think as long as you control your emotions and as long as you go out there and don't get caught up in the moment or in the hype of the situation, I think it's great.
So these younger guys that we have, they're passionate. They're passionate, they're hungry. They show emotions and it's great. And sometimes emotions that they show is not to try to show up the opposing team, it's just to try to fire our own clubhouse or our own ballclub, which is great.
Q. You mentioned Alex Cora before. What qualities does he have that will allow him to be an effective manager in the future
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, you know what, Alex brings a lot to the table, my friend. He's a guy that always is looking for information that he could use against the opposite team. And he's also, he provide that information to the player, which is great. He has good communication with the guys, respect the guys. He's always in the clubhouse getting to know the players, getting to know which buttons he could push on each player to make them go out there and play the game hard, which is great.
I think I always feel that sometimes managers, they draw a very defined line between players and manager. And sometimes they get caught up not going to the clubhouse because they don't want to feel like they're invading their space. But as a player I love when managers come to the clubhouse, sit down, talk to us, get to know us, ask about our family, about everything. And that really, for me, means a lot. So Alex does that real well.
He played the game. He was intense. He's intense, but in a good way.
Q. You've flourished in New York twice as a ballplayer, two different stops. What did it do for you as a player and a person to have played here, and what does it take to be a good ballplayer in New York?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, for one thing, you cannot get caught up in reading all the papers in the city. If you read all the papers in the city, as a player that's not a good thing that you're doing to yourself.
You have to basically focus in playing the game and understanding the platform is huge. But also it's great because if you care about the game there's no better place to play baseball than New York. The attention we get as a ballplayer is amazing. When you do well it's recognized worldwide. But also when you do bad it's also recognized worldwide.
But at the end of the day New York is not for everybody. You're right about that. New York is not for everybody. People could excel in a city like this one but also I've seen it before, people -- I've seen good players coming to New York and their career have gone downhill.
So you have to have a clear mind in what you want to do. And be passionate. That's something that I am, I am passionate about the game. And I don't get caught up in a lot of stuff. Even though sometimes there are things that I don't like, but I think if I have control in what I need to control, and that is my preparation, the way I try to become a good teammate with the guys in the clubhouse and impact my people, my teammates, and I'm controlling that, I think that's what I really care the most.