The New York Mets are… let’s just say special.
When Jacob deGrom won his second straight Cy Young award, the team finds themselves in hot water. And it’s about as embarrassing as Kevin Plawecki getting photographed with that sex toy in his locker back in May.
Carlos Beltrán, recently signed as the Mets newest manager, is implicated in the Astros sign-stealing debacle.
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich (TheAthletic.com), Beltrán, along with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, were instrumental in developing the elaborate sign-stealing plan with Astros manager AJ Hinch. Cora was the team’s bench coach, and Beltrán was the team’s DH/outfielder who’s known in baseball for his sign-stealing as a player.
Why This Matters.
As I wrote in a previous article (empiresportsmedia.com), all teams steal signs. Sometimes, in-game, catchers and pitchers will change signs to ensure that the opposing team can’t get the edge. Beltrán, as a player, was credited as one of the best sign stealers in the game. This is apart of baseball. Alex Rodriguez admitted on The Michael Kay Show this week that he and Derek Jeter would steal signs. And if you’re relying on your wits in the moment of the game, then you should be commended, not punished. Beltrán’s sign-stealing tips will be instrumental in developing some of the raw young talents the Mets currently have, allowing them to not be such laughingstocks.
But adding electronics is cheating. It’s like Spygate from the NFL.
The fact remains, if Beltrán is found, unquestionably, to have been culpable in developing a way to electronically steal signs, and help devise a way for the team to relay to hitters what’s being thrown (through banging on trash cans to whistling), this could spell trouble for a managerial career that hasn’t even taken off yet.
But Let’s Not Forget Boston
As a Yankees fan, I’m filled with a sense of petty glee seeing this story begin to implicate the Mets and the Red Sox. Because let’s face it, we want our team to be the best in New York, and go back to owning the Sox every step of the way. But who’s to say that Cora didn’t implement something similar up on Yawkey Way. The Red Sox had a season for the record books in Cora’s first year as skipper in 2018. How skewed would Mookie Betts season be if it turns out he was aided by a similar system of sign stealing?
Now, all of this is explicitly hearsay. I’m not accusing the Boston Red Sox of committing what the Astros are currently being investigated for. But just how far this could affect the Mets, and Red Sox remains to be seen.
Shoeless Joe Jackson, a noted illiterate, was banned from baseball in the Black Sox scandal of 1919. He batted .375/.394/.563 in that series with a home run and 6 RBI’s (baseball-reference.com). Does THAT strike you as someone who was intentionally trying to lose the World Series? Beltrán should be worried. I don’t think Cora, Hinch, or the Astros front office would think twice about throwing him under the bus. We all saw what they did to Stephanie Apstein.