You don’t play Major League Baseball for 20 years and not learn how to get an edge. It goes without saying that if you work in any industry you are going to figure out how to use everything to your advantage.
So, when it was revealed this week that the Houston Astros were using video technology to steal signs in 2017 – the year they won the World Series – and that veteran Carlos Beltran was a part of it, came as little surprise.
Beltran has always been a student of the game, picking up little tidbits and springing them on his teammates. Beltran, who was hired last week as the new manager of the New York Mets, denied that electronic devices were used for real time intelligence and told the New York Post that he wasn’t involved in any sign-stealing operation.
“I’m not aware of that camera,” Beltran told The Post in a text message exchange. “We were studying the opposite team every day…We took a lot of pride studying pitchers [on] the computer. That is the only technology that I use and understand. It was fun seeing guys get to the ballpark to look for little details….The game of baseball for years, guys have given location and if the catchers get lazy and the pitcher doesn’t cover the signs from second base [then] of course players are going to take advantage. I don’t call that cheating. I call that using small details to take advantage. I think baseball is doing a great job adding new technology to make sure the game is even for both teams. It’s easy to blame someone when they win.”
Sign stealing is an art that is old as the game itself, so why not in this age of advanced technology wouldn’t teams use every tool in the box to gain an advantage?
That’s something the Mets could use – an edge. I’m not advocating cheating but the mentality Beltran brings to the Mets will be refreshing. It’s about time they are a step ahead of the times than two steps behind.