Pena Says Beltran is Ready for the Spotlight

<b>ANAHEIM</b> – Call Tony Pena an uninterested observer in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes. Like the good kid in the front of the classroom, the Kansas City Royals manager prefers to keep his eyes on his own team.

"There's nothing I can do about what's going on outside my ballclub," Pena said Saturday. "I need to worry about what I have in my hands and make it work."

Even though Pena said that he and Beltran haven't spoken since the outfielder was traded to the Houston Astros during the season, it's impossible to ignore the buzz around Beltran this weekend.

The former Royals centerfielder appears likely to land as much as a ten-year deal from a prospective employer, and will soon officially leave small-market Kansas City in his rear view mirror.

"I'm very happy for him," Pena said. "Carlos is the kind of guy who works. He works for what he wants. He has the chance to be the top guy right now in baseball."

If Beltran is to take the biggest chunk of change on the block, it's likely to come from the largest market of all – New York, and the Yankees.

The media spotlight burns brighter in the Bronx than anywhere else on baseball's landscape, and for a shy, private player like Beltran, some question whether the relentless pressure of the media will be a factor.

Beltran is not a suave personality like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, nor is he a loudmouth troublemaker like David Wells.

However, a player whose personality Beltran closely emulates – centerfielder Bernie Williams – has been able to strive in the Big Apple despite a low-key attitude.

Count Pena among those who think Beltran in the big city would be a success.

"He'll handle it real well because of the type of person he is," Pena said. "Most of the time, when a player has trouble going from a small market team to a big market team, it's because players run their mouth. Carlos is very quiet."

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