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Beltre impressed with Rangers' veteran leaders

Retired third baseman gives advice to players, reflects on retirement
@Sullivan_Ranger
May 15, 2019

DALLAS -- The Rangers have a few players who are not off to great offensive starts this season. They have reached out and sought the advice of retired third baseman Adrian Beltre. “I have talked to a couple guys,” Beltre said Wednesday. “I don’t want to mention names.” It’s not

DALLAS -- The Rangers have a few players who are not off to great offensive starts this season. They have reached out and sought the advice of retired third baseman Adrian Beltre.

“I have talked to a couple guys,” Beltre said Wednesday. “I don’t want to mention names.”

It’s not hard to figure out that Nomar Mazara is down to a .235 batting average and Rougned Odor is hitting .153. Beltre was close with both players during his time with the Rangers.

“It has been, what, 30-something games?” Beltre said. “It’s a long season. If you start panicking because you have one bad month … You understand in this game there are going to be highs and lows, and you have to figure out how to be more consistent. Nothing major, some of the guys are struggling at the beginning, which I am familiar with. Some guys struggle at the end, not a big deal.”

Beltre was back in Texas on Wednesday to speak at the SMU Athletic Forum luncheon in the Hilton Anatole Hotel. He will return next month to have his No. 29 uniform retired by the Rangers before their June 8 game against the A's at Globe Life Park.

“It will be nice to come back and have my number retired, but I’m nervous,” Beltre said. “I don’t like to speak.”

Beltre is spending most of his time at his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Sandra, daughters Cassandra and Camila and son Adrian Jr. His primary role is taxiing the kids to and from school and baseball and volleyball practices.

Beltre said he is comfortable with his decision to retire, and that he does not miss it as much as people suggested he would.

“So far it has been good,” Beltre said. “I hope it stays that way.”

Beltre watches baseball on occasion, mainly his former team. He has been impressed with Joey Gallo’s offensive surge, how Asdrúbal Cabrera has handled third base and the way Elvis Andrus has assumed his leadership role on the team.

“Elvis has matured on the field and off,” Beltre said. “He understands what it takes in the clubhouse to keep the guys together. Continue to have good chemistry and have 25 guys playing on one side. He started learning little by little from Michael Young, myself and Ian Kinsler, and now he realizes like [Shin-Soo] Choo that he has to be the guy, and he is handling it really well. Not going to happen in one year. It takes time, and he is doing well.”

Andrus and Beltre talk often. The last time was Tuesday night, after Andrus left the game against the Royals with tightness in his right hamstring.

“He got a little scared,” Beltre said. “We had a talk. [Hopefully] he is fine. It looked worse on video than he felt. Hopefully he’ll be in there today or tomorrow.”

Beltre is familiar with leg issues. That may have been one of the main reasons why he retired when he did.

“I hope he doesn’t take that from me,” Beltre said.

Beltre has been with the team twice this season. He stopped by during Spring Training when his son was in Arizona for a youth baseball tournament, and many of his old teammates attended his 40th birthday party while the team was in Anaheim in April.

“I think once I made the announcement in November, I was at peace with it,” Beltre said. “I wasn’t afraid how I was going to feel after that. But once my son had a tournament in Arizona and the guys told me to stop by ... I was afraid I might get that feeling.

“But once I saw the guys and didn’t feel anything, that was it. Right now, I’m good. Every game I see, I don’t wish I could be there. I miss the guys and being around them. Most of the guys came to my house for my birthday, it was nice to see them, joke around and talk smack.”

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.