By Kristie Rieken
HOUSTON (AP) — 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 center 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 semi-circle 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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