JUPITER, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran hasn't yet seen the product, but he promises not to renege on the promise.
Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese can rest assured that when the Cardinals and Mets meet in Grapefruit League play next month that Beltran will have the check ready to hand over. The amount, which totals about $10,000, will fully cover Niese's offseason rhinoplasty surgery.
Beltran offered to pay for the nose job last season after overhearing Niese discuss the procedure. Some recent reports suggested that Beltran recommended the surgery, a supposition that Beltran squashed on Thursday.
"The only thing I did was offer my service to pay [for it]," said Beltran, Niese's teammate in New York from 2008-11. "I didn't tell him to do anything. I know people said that I recommended nose surgery. That's impossible that I'm going to recommend a person nose surgery.
"They were talking in the clubhouse and somebody asked him [about it], and he said it wasn't a priority for him to do it. And I just said, 'What about if it's paid [for]? Would you do it?' And he said, 'Of course, I'd do it.'"
Beltran admitted he wasn't sure Niese would actually follow through and have the work done. As it turns out, the procedure has had more than a superficial effect on the Mets lefty. Speaking about the surgery earlier this week, Niese said it has made his breathing much more normal.
Though Beltran has not yet seen the results of the rhinoplasty, he has received the bill. He plans to make good on the payment later this spring.
"He came to me the day after the [initial] conversation and said, 'Are you sure you're going to pay for it? Beltran said. "I said, 'I'll pay for it. I'm not sure if you're going to do it, but if you do it, I'll pay for it.'
"I guess he was happy that he didn't have to pay $10,000 for his nose."
Descalso just misses out on 'Linsanity'
JUPITER, Fla. -- As timing would have it, Daniel Descalso just missed out on witnessing greatness. At least, that's what the unrelenting attention on NBA point guard Jeremy Lin would have you believe.
Descalso and Lin both spend their offseasons working out at the same training facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, by the time Descalso began his offseason regimen at SPARTA Performance Center in early December, the NBA lockout had just ended and Lin had left the area.
However, Descalso did get a recent taste of the media blitz surrounding the once-unknown, Harvard-schooled Lin. Lin's popularity began to rise just as Descalso was preparing to leave home and head to the Cardinals' spring complex in Jupiter, Fla.
"There were a bunch of news crews there the last couple of weeks, so I did a couple interviews just about the complex," Descalso said. "I heard that when he first came in there, he wasn't good at squatting for whatever reason. So I guess they changed around his whole workout regimen. Obviously, it's paid off for him."
Desclaso and Lin, who are separated by about two years in age, attended high school less than seven miles apart.
Matheny nixes daily quotations
JUPITER, Fla. -- Manager Mike Matheny tossed out one budding tradition when he decided on Thursday to omit the quote-of-the-day section near the end of the team's daily training schedule. He explained that the omission was made with full intent.
Matheny had included a quote on the schedule for the first four days of Spring Training, quotes that were meant to motivate and provoke some thinking. These various quotes ended up being reprinted and rebroadcast by various media outlets in an effort to provide some insight into how Matheny is running his first camp.
That publicity, however, left Matheny concerned that his initial purpose for the quotations was being misconstrued. So in order to ensure that no one labeled him as being phony, he will now simply verbalize the quote of the day during the morning team meeting.
"I don't blame [the media] for putting it out there," Matheny said. "It actually gave me an opportunity to talk to these guys and say, 'Hey, this is not the goal to try and get attention to this. I want it to mean something to you.'"
Lance Lynn (left hamstring tightness) and Jordan Swagerty (right triceps tightness) both returned to the mound on Thursday after taking three days off for precautionary reasons. Another seven pitchers all threw side sessions.
Rafael Furcal and Carlos Beltran both participated in their first workouts of the spring. The position players who are already present took part in light workouts that included batting practice and some fielding drills.
All position players are required to report by the end of the day on Thursday and be present for Friday's first full-squad workout. The only two absentees at the time the Cardinals wrapped up on Thursday were Lance Berkman and Eugenio Velez.
Allen Craig, who is rehabbing from right knee surgery, played catch on Thursday for the first time since the November procedure. Craig had been limited to non-baseball activities.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.