Carlos Beltran noticed a five dollar bill on the floor of the visitors dugout at Digital Domain Park Tuesday morning, and bent to retrieve it.

"Give it to Niese," Beltran said, handing the cash to a reporter. "He needs it."

The new right fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals faced his former team on Tuesday for the first time since the Mets traded him to San Francisco last July. The game was uneventful — scattered cheers greeted Beltran, who went 1-for-4.

His debt to Jon Niese was far more interesting. Last season, Beltran offered to pay for a nose job for the lefty, and Niese underwent the procedure. Ten thousand dollars later, Beltran has not yet opened his wallet.

Clearly relishing the storyline, Beltran smiled and asked, "How's his nose look?"

A little bit better, he was told.

"A little bit?" Beltran said, his smile widening. "So should I pay? Should I not?"