- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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Here are some highlights from Carlos Beltran's talk with the media before Friday night's game at Citi Field.
On how he will be received by the fans in his return to Flushing: "That is their choice," Beltran said. "I'm just going to go out there and play the game. I'm just happy to be here. If they want to welcome me with cheers, that's fine. If they want to boo me, that's fine, too. I know I'm playing for the opposite side so I'm used to that."
What did he think of his seven years here? "We had good teams here," Beltran said. "We just couldn't win. That part really made me sad. At the same time, my experience was good. I really enjoyed it, honestly."
If he could have one do-over from his nearly seven years with the Mets, what would it be? "I wish I could have been healthy all seven years."
Beltran was asked how playing in New York is different than other places: "The expectations, the fans, they really expect you to go out there and perform every day," Beltran said. "In this game, that is a hard thing to do. This is different [gesturing to the two-row deep crew of reporters surrounding him]. The media. You have to be accountable every day, day in and day out. So that is something that when I played in Kansas City, when I played in Houston, being able to play here it is more than that, more than baseball."
Does he miss the big stage? "Of course, being able to play here is a good thing," Beltran said. "It was a good thing for me. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I don't -- being honest."
On replacing Albert Pujols: "I told myself the only shoes I need to fill were my own shoes," Beltran said. "I know Albert is a special player. It is hard to replace a guy like that."
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