R.I.P., dear glove

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUS­TON — Car­los Bel­tran hasn’t used his glove in a game in more than two months.

So on Mon­day, the Hous­ton Astros gath­ered around their team­mate in cen­tre field and laid his mitt to rest, hold­ing a mock fu­neral to send it off.

The silly cer­e­mony was held at Minute Maid Park be­fore bat­ting prac­tice, prior to the AL West lead­ers host­ing Seat­tle. The Astros all wore black shirts to mark the oc­ca­sion ex­cept for Brian McCann, who donned a black robe to of­fi­ci­ate the ser­vice.

As McCann spoke, the play­ers formed a semi­cir­cle around him and knelt as the glove was placed in a shoe box and three faux tomb­stones that read “R.I.P.” were placed around it. Bel­tran cap­tured the whole thing on cell­phone video.

The 40-year-old Bel­tran has played 77 times this sea­son, all but nine as a des­ig­nated hit­ter. He hasn’t been in the field since May 16 in Mi­ami.

Man­ager A.J. Hinch says the strong play of Mar­win Gon­za­lez is the main rea­son Bel­tran hasn’t played the out­field for so long. But Hinch isn’t rul­ing out an­other ap­pear­ance.

“I’m not quite giv­ing up on the glove, even though they’re bury­ing it in the out­field,” Hinch said.

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