At the beginning of November, I reported that the New York Mets have named former Mets rightfielder Carlos Beltran as their manager. Beltran, who hit over 400 homeruns in the Major Leagues, was a muli-time All-Star and well on his way to the Hall of Fame, has now “stepped down” as manager, although he never handed in his resignation.
According to a piece from USAToday, as well as sources such as ESPNs Jeff Passan and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, he did not step down, but was ultimately let go as the Mets had to debate whether to let the rookie manager keep his job, before he even suited up as the skipper. GM Brodie Van Wagenen hired Beltran before the recent Astros sign stealing controversy, and thus didn’t expect what would ultimately come out just days later. In the press conference, he praised “trust’ as a key component of the hiring, while the Wilpons (majority owners of the Mets) value “integrity.” Just days after the hiring, news broke that Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora were at the forefront of the 2017 Astros scandal, one of the biggest cheating scandals in the history of sports.
MLBs official report, which came out earlier this week, named Beltran as the player who devised the scheme. It also clarified that he lied to the league about it, before giving his actual testimony. The league, however, decided to give all players immunity, and since Beltran was a player at the time, he was not punished. Astros manager AJ Hinch was publicly fired by Jim Crane and suspended by the league for one season. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was canned yesterday evening, despite a punishment not even being handed down yet. The Mets have opted to follow suit.
Former Yankee teammate Mark Teixiera came out and said that the Mets should fire him because there’s no way a rookie manager can run a team dealing with the New York media after this. While he’s correct, if I’m a player, how can I respect him? Players such as JD Davis and Jake Marisnick were on the 2017 Astros so that wasn’t an issue, nor were players such as Robinson Cano and Dellin Betances who played with him in the Bronx. However, if you’re Marcus Stroman who faced the Astros and Beltran while contending with the Toronto Blue Jays, how can you respect a man who cheated you on his way to a ring? I wouldn’t want to play with that as my leader. On top of this, if the Wilpons and Van Wagenen feel that strongly about character, you can’t keep Beltran after he blatantly lied to your face. It’s reported that he fought for his job all night last night, before reluctantly agreeing to step down from the role.
Only the Mets could hire and fire a manager before he manages a game, right? That’s not even the most Mets thing about this, however. The Mets are still paying Mickey Callaway to manage the team, and he’s currently the pitching coach of the Los Angeles Angels. Whether they opt to go in house with coach Luis Rojas, or hire somebody like Eduardo Perez who was the runner up in the original manager search remains to be seen. We do, however, know for a fact that they will be paying guaranteed money to 3 managers for the 2020 season.
Pro Sports Extra will keep you updated on the Mets manager search, much like we did earlier this offseason.
Follow me on Twitter: @TheJameus