Los Angeles Times

Puerto Ricans conflicted over actions of countrymen Carlos Beltran, Alex Cora

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The fan in the white Carlos Beltran jersey took gulps from his plastic cup of Medalla Light - the omnipresent locally brewed, low-cost lager - as he waited in line at a cash-only stand serving fried delights. A mass of people rushed around him through the Hiram Bithorn Stadium concourse minutes before the hosts - the Santurce Cangrejeros, winners of Puerto Rico's winter league - confronted the Tomateros from Culiacan, Mexico's champion, on the second day of the Caribbean Series last week.

Ricardo Ortega's favorite player ever is Beltran, a Puerto Rican who starred in the major leagues for two decades. At one point, Beltran was the best player on Ortega's favorite team, the New York Mets. But Ortega couldn't sugarcoat his feelings on the prominent roles Major League Baseball determined Beltran and Alex Cora, another beloved Puerto Rican baseball man, played in

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