The Mets can only stand by as MLB prepares to levy the boom on the Astros and those responsible for stealing signs. Now, one of their own is in the crosshairs…
When the Mets interviewed Carlos Beltran to be their new manager, it’s not likely they asked him, “Say, by the way, what do you think about using cameras and other electronic devices to steal signs from the other team?”
So it came as a surprise when Brodie Van Wagenen had to tell reporters on Thursday at the GM Meetings, “I have no idea if anything did or did not [occur], but at this point, I don’t see any reason why this is a Mets situation.”
Meanwhile, Beltran was on standby, knowing that soon he would be grilled by Major League Baseball (MLB) regarding his knowledge and participation in any sign-stealing while he was with the Astros in 2017.
The Mets in limbo
The Mets need this like they need a hole in their head. The charges, as reported by The Athletic, heretofore a respected source, are real.
Even today, the indictment and the net against the Astros are growing more extensive with new allegations that Astros executives directed their scouts attending games to find ways signs could be stolen in ballparks the team was scheduled to visit.
Beltran may or may not be culpable for his participation during his final season in baseball as an active player in 2017 – but he sure as hell isn’t helping himself and, ultimately, the Mets when Beltran, on Thursday, doubled down on what he told The Post’s Joel Sherman earlier in the week, saying in a text message to The Post:
Unfortunately, MLB may not quite understand what Beltran means by “the opportunity to look out for information” that can help his team.
In today’s world, information comes to us in any number of forms – the best of which are electronic and specifically prohibited by MLB for use during a game.
Thus, the Mets are in a precarious position. Ironically, this time, it has nothing to do with the clumsy nature of their organization.
MLB has no choice but to lower the boom
While MLB is not likely to discipline players who were involved, Joe Torre and Co. will be taking a close look at three individuals who were there in 2017 and now managing big-league teams. Alex Cora (Red Sox), AJ Hinch (Astros), and Beltran represent mid-level management capable of polluting an entire team.
MLB can’t let that go. Nor can they risk further damage to the integrity of the game.
Unless exonerated, Beltran et al. will be struck with a lengthy suspension, while the Astros will be emptying their checkbook to pay fines and forfeiting future draft picks.
Which leaves the Mets – where?
Brodie Van Wagenen has yet to appoint a bench coach for Carlos Beltran, and maybe that’s a good thing. Instead, he might be better looking for an “interim manager” to begin the season. He may need one.
Terry Collins has rejected overtures from here and elsewhere to be the Mets bench coach and mentor for Beltran. But in this instance, loyalty in the presence of emergencies comes into play. We’ll see how it plays out.
It’s only November, but it’s unfortunate the Mets and Van Wagenen need to be dealing with an unforeseen and potentially catastrophic development – when Zack Wheeler needs to be replaced, the bullpen fortified, and a “real” center fielder located and signed.
We keep saying it – but you can’t make this stuff up…