Carlos Beltran has some explaining to do. Impeached by MLB, next is the trial that will take place in the court of public opinion – where it counts…
Carlos Beltran is a walking advertisement for a persistent dark cloud hanging over the Mets that never evaporates. If anything can go wrong, it will. Or so it seems.
Beltran’s character is what earned him the job as the new Mets manager. His service in New York and Puerto Rico communities is well-founded, and no one can take that away from him.
The Mets were universally applauded for their selection of Beltran, even in the face of several well-qualified candidates being present. Spring Training was just around the corner. Now, this.
Seeing the name Carlos Beltran highlighted in the nine-page report (full text available here) issued by MLB following the investigation into the Astros use of sign-stealing – is as disturbing as it is disappointing.
Two things are now clear.
- Carlos Beltran was not forthright when he told Joel Sherman of the New York Post, “I’m not aware of that (centerfield) camera, “We were studying the opposite team every day.”
- Beltran was indeed not only aware of the camera used to steal signs, but he was instrumental in instigating its installation and providing suggestions on its use.
At the same time, though, two things remain nebulous and form the basis on which the Mets fan base and fans of baseball generally need and deserve answers.
******As late as November, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said: “he had yet to speak with Beltran since the accusations surfaced (though multiple reporters have) and even mentioned that he didn’t read the articles (stunning, if true).”
Does Van Wagenen’s claim even come close to plausibility?
******What transpired between Beltran and the Mets during the interview process? Did Beltran tell the same evasion of truth he tried to pass off on Joel Sherman?
Did the matter even come up during the several stages of interviews leading up to the hiring of Beltran?
And if it never came up, is the Mets plea stupidity – or were they complicit in a cover-up – hoping the whole thing would eventually blow over?
Beltran Takes His Case To The Public
As soon as next week and if the Mets are wise, Carlos Beltran will defend his impeachment by MLB following a ceremony at the Mets Spring Training facility honoring Mike Piazza, during which a street will be named for the Hall of Fame catcher.
Beltran can begin the press conference by stating something to the effect: “I’m here to answer all of your questions regarding my involvement in what transpired during my time in Houston until you have no more questions.”
“After which, I will not be addressing the matter again. Before we begin, however, I’d like to express my sincere apology to the fans, the Mets, my teammates, my family, and MLB for the…”
Or, Beltran can continue stonewalling and pooh-poohing his actions by carrying on with the claim “everybody cheats” – it’s part of baseball, etc.
And The Verdict Is…
Unless things change dramatically, the Mets are not inclined to discipline Carlos Beltran, and they will not be following the Astros and Red Sox, who exercised their right to part ways with their managers AJ Hinch and Alex Cora.
So be it. However, if the Mets have any common sense left, they should at least come out with something to the effect that:
“We believe in second-chances. Carlos Beltran had a lapse in judgment while in Houston. But we also believe we are not mistaken in our judgment that he is the right person to lead our ballclub to great heights in 2020.”
There will not be a definitive verdict of guilt or innocence following Beltran’s press conference. Pundits and writers will opine for a few days, but then the matter must be dismissed – because it’s time to Play Ball.
The ultimate verdict, though, will be rendered by the 26 men who take their place in the Mets clubhouse on Opening Day when Jacob deGrom faces the Washington Nationals.
And perhaps, that’s the way it should be.