Astros racing against time

The Astros should start shopping Carlos Beltran with the NL Central out of reach and the wild card slipping away.

Originally Published: July 6, 2004
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Eight. If you're trying to buy dinner in Manhattan, eight (dollars) isn't a big number. But if you're trying to win a division title in the Bronx, eight (games) in early July is a big number indeed. The Yankees are eight games ahead of the Red Sox, and have essentially been awarded the American League East title by all but the most pessimistic Yankees fans (and delusional Red Sox fans).

Carlos Beltran
The Astros are hoping to retain the services of Carlos Beltran.

And rightly so. You simply don't make up eight games in three months, and that goes double when the team you're trying to catch was generally favored to win the World Series.