Former Mets and Yankees star Darryl Strawberry believes Carlos Beltran deserves a second chance

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Carlos Beltran

Around this time of the year, but in 2019, Carlos Beltran was supposed to take over as the manager of the New York Mets. He was a well-respected veteran fresh off retirement two seasons ago, in 2017. He had played with the Mets and was seen as a passionate baseball man. Still is, to be fair.

However, the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal came to prominence, and executive Jeff Lunhow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended for their roles. MLB fined the team and took away a couple of draft picks. As it turns out, Beltran was heavily involved in the scheme, which took place in 2017 (his last playing season.)

The New York Mets decided to part ways with Beltran and replaced him with Luis Rojas. However, Darrly Strawberry, a man who believes in second chances himself, has Beltran’s back.

Strawberry, who also played with the Mets and Yankees like Beltran, believes that the latter deserves another chance in baseball. He said that during an appearance Thursday on WFAN’s “Moose and Maggie Show.”

The Mets elected to look elsewhere after the scandal

“Carlos is a wonderful guy. Everybody makes mistakes and falls short in some areas, but I think he deserves another chance, no question about it. I thought the Mets should have stuck with him, and looked at who he is as a person. … He’s a wonderful guy, a wonderful player, and a wonderful student of the game. He will help so many young players learn how to play at the highest level, because that’s where he played.”

Beltran was one of the league’s premier outfielder in the mid-to-late 2000s. He played there from 2005 to 2011, and performed admirably as a player.

He was the man chosen by the Wilpons to manage the Mets this past season, but the sign-stealing scandal aftermath was too much to handle for the former owners.

New York Mets’ legend David Wright on Carlos Beltran situation: ‘It would’ve been a dark cloud’

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Carlos Beltran

Over the winter, the New York Mets had appointed Carlos Beltran, a former player of the organization, to be their manager. However, he was named on MLB’s report on the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal in 2017. He was a participant in the scheme, and as a result, the Mets and the former star center fielder decided to part ways.

A few days later, the Mets named quality control coach Luis Rojas as their skipper in a multi-year contract. However, fans, management and the front office will always wonder what could have been if Beltran was the man in charge.

New York Mets’ legend David Wright appreciates everything that Beltran did for him and for the team, but in the end, he agreed that it was best for all parties involved if he didn’t manage the club.

“There’s choices, decisions, consequences,” Wright said on the Metrospective Podcast with Pete McCarthy and Tim Britton, quoted by SNY. “You have choices, you make the decisions. If you choose wrongly, you suffer the consequences.”

“As great as Carlos was to me as a younger player — our first spring training, he made me work out with him every day. And it was eye-opening for me. … You break the rules and you get caught, you’ve gotta suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, that’s where Carlos is now. And that’s no, obviously, disrespect to Carlos. It is what it is and he broke the rules, and he’s taking it as well as he could’ve. He’s apologized and hopefully everybody moves on.”

It had nothing to do with the Mets, but…

What Beltran did had nothing to do with the New York Mets, as he did it in 2017 with another organization. However, had all parties decided to move forward with the hiring, it would have been too much to handle from a pressure standpoint.

“It obviously would’ve been a dark cloud,” Wright said. “The questions that he would’ve had to answer probably on a daily basis, the questions that the players would’ve had to answer on a daily basis. It would’ve all been centered around this scandal that the Mets had nothing to do with. And that’s a tough way to start out a career.”

“Do I think he would’ve made a great manager? Yes. Do I think he’s one of the smartest baseball people I’ve ever been around? Yes. It’s just tough having those outside circumstances kind of follow you around for your first year.”

Wright does recognize Beltran’s contributions to his development as a player. “I certainly don’t want to speak negatively of Carlos, because again I’m very thankful how he treated me,” Wright stated. “And for the production, I think he’s one of the most underrated Mets players of all time. His numbers are ridiculously stupid. I don’t think he gets credit for doing what he did for our organization.”

Ex-Yankee Pitcher Weighs in on Astros

Current New York Yankee players have plenty to be ticked off about, as they were victims of the Astros in 2 separate seasons. But that doesn’t stop former Yankees from feeling equally cheated.

David Robertson Chimes In

In 2017, Robertson was traded back to his original team from the Chicago White Sox, along with Todd Frazier. Robertson was brilliant in his return to the Bronx, giving up 4 runs in 30 games down the stretch for the Yanks. He was as good that October, giving up 2 over 11 innings of relief.

But then came Game 6 of the 2017 ALCS. I’ll let him sum it up, in this excerpt from Mollie Walker of the NY Post:

“I got roughed up in Game 6,” Robertson said. “And I felt like in that game, I threw as well as I’ve ever thrown in my entire life. I had some pitches that got hit that I was a little shocked by and some pitches that didn’t get swung at that I was a little shocked by. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about what we know now. But it all comes together now and, you know, I’m upset about it, that’s for sure.”

Robertson could not retire any of the 4 men he faced that night.

Asked for his thoughts on the mastermind behind the operation, Carlos Beltran, Robertson has this to say about his former teammate:

“I always respected him as a player, especially being a veteran player on our team when I got a chance to play with him in New York,” Robertson said. “I enjoyed the way he played and the way he went about his business. He’s got to live with it.”

David Robertson is currently in year 2 of a 3 year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Reunited with former manager, Joe Girardi, Robertson hopes to come back strong in 2020, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019.

New York Yankees: Former Yankee Killed His Hall of Fame Chances

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Carlos Beltran

More reports surfaced this week about former New York Yankee, and mastermind of the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Carlos Beltran. If former Yankee, Roger Clemens, and home run king, Barry Bonds, are being kept out of the Baseball Hall of Fame over their involvement with, and suspected use of steroids, Carlos Beltran secured his permanent exclusion from Cooperstown over new, damning information.

Astros Felt Powerless to Stop Beltran, Who Said He Saw a “Better Way to Steal Signs”

According to a report from the Athletic, when Beltran got to Houston in 2017, he told the team their sign decoding operation was “behind the times”. He was so instrumental in implementing and orchestrating the electronic sign stealing, he would shut down anyone who asked him to stop it. That includes former Yankee teammate (and the Astros 2017 catcher) Brian McCann, or even his manager, AJ Hinch (remember how he supposedly destroyed the monitor on two separate occasions).

Beltran was considered the “godfather of the dugout by his teammates. His will was the law. And now, he’s put his entire baseball future in jeopardy over (supposedly) his desire to win just one championship.

But Where Did He Get the Idea From?

Beltran, allegedly, saw what became the Astros operation “somewhere else”. Many are suspecting that he saw it during his 2.5 years in New York, with the Yankees. But the Yankees were middling at best when Beltran was on the team. Going into the video replay room, something the Yankees admitted to doing but stopped several years before electronic sign-stealing became illegal, is still a far cry from banging a trash can in real time to tip a hitter off. There was still one more pit stop before Beltran became an Astro, and that was the Texas Rangers.

But all this is speculation over whether or not every team in baseball was, in fact, stealing signs the way that the Astros were. It was definitively proven that the Astros set up a camera in center field, someone decided the signs in real-time and relayed that information to the hitter. The Red Sox didn’t use a trash can, they used Apple smartwatches. So… is Beltran a dirty cheater who tried to get the Yankees to implement what the Astros implemented, or is he just a terrible liar (he did tell the NY Post he didn’t know about a center field camera in Houston in November)?

No matter the answer, it’s a terrible stain. Not just on the man’s career, but on the sport, he represented for 20 years so admirably. I think this is the end of Beltran’s career in baseball once and for all, with an unofficial banishment from Cooperstown.

Yankees: News/Rumors: Astros Beltran Steamrolled everybody! and the MLB suggests a 7 team postseason!

New York Mets to interview Carlos Beltran.

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Carlos Beltran was driving force behind Astros scheme:

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Carlos Beltran, the manager of the New York Mets who stepped down recently from the position, was the driving force behind the Houston Astros sign-stealing scheme while he was with the Astros.  Beltran was the only player named in the official MLB report on the investigation released by Commissioner Rob Manfred, which was issued back on January 15th, which said he and a group of players first came up with the system to decode opposition signs.   After the report was released, it revealed the punishments the Astro would receive, which included:  a $5MM fine, suspension of the GM and Manager A.J. Hinch for one year, and the loss of 1st and 2nd round draft picks for 2020 and 2021.  Carlos Beltran denied to The New York Post last year he was even aware of a center-field camera — let alone illegal sign-stealing — in Houston in 2017

The new revelations reported by The Athletic not only states that Beltran was involved, but when confronted by former Yankee catcher Brian McCann, he refused to change as offered by other former Astros players.  McCann was the Astros catcher in 2017. “He disregarded it and steamrolled everybody.” Rosenthal and Evan Drellich stated a member of the 2017 Astros said in response to McCann’s concerns about the scheme: “Where do you go if you’re a young, impressionable player with the Astros and this guy says, ‘We’re doing this’? What do you do?” In the past weeks, several New York Yankees, including CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka, have talked about their frustration of possibly losing a World Series Championship due to the Astros scheme.

McCann, who was reportedly not involved in the scandal, also had conversations in which he denied any cheating by the team even though former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers outed the scheme back in November.   Since the MLB report was issued three managers have lost their jobs;  along with Hinch of the Astros, newly hired Red Sox Manager Alex Cora who was the bench coach for the 2017 Astros was fired, and just days after the Mets announced that they had hired Carlos Beltran they parted ways when he was named in the report.

MLB to go to a seven-team postseason?

The MLB is weighing a new postseason format with seven teams per league rather than the present five. The proposed plan would grant the top seed a pass from the division series while putting the other six teams in the best-of-three series. The No. 2 seed would pick its opponent from the bottom three teams first, followed by the next two seeds.

The New York Post reported: The proposed format, which has been gaining traction among owners and within the commissioner’s office, would see the total number of playoff teams in each league increase from five to seven.  The wild-card round would expand from a one-game playoff to a best-of-three series. The new format could go into effect as early as the 2022 season.

Last season, the Astros would have been the AL’s No. 1 seed based on having the best record in the league, while the Yankees, Twins, and Athletics would have hosted three-game wild-card series.  The Yankees, as the No. 2 seed, would get to pick their opponent from the grouping of the Nos. 5-7 seeds, which would have been the Rays, Indians, and Red Sox.

The addition of two more postseason teams in each league would keep more teams and fans interested beyond the All-Star break.  It would affect the team’s willingness to give up trade pieces and would give teams more incentive to fight for the best overall record in their league, which would be the only way to advance to the division series without playing in the wild-card round.  This new best of 3 format would produce 18 games, 12 of which would be elimination games. It would also eliminate a tie-breaking 163rd game.

How Guilty Are the New York Yankees of Electronic Sign Stealing?

New York Yankees, Aaron boone

Carlos Beltran’s tenure with the New York Yankees is becoming more and more complicated since the Astros sign-stealing scandal became public. Many people brought up the fact that the Apple Watch debacle between the Yankees and Red Sox a few weeks before Manfred officially made electronic sign-stealing illegal. Now, veteran sportswriter, Peter Gammons, have found a new level to the sign-stealing the Yankees may or may not have been guilty of.

Former Yankee Chris Young Spills the Beans

Playing for both the Yankees and Red Sox in his career, Chris Young was interviewed about his involvement in the Apple Watch practices employed by the Boston Red Sox. Young was later revealed to be one of the masterminds for the entire scheme. And according to Gammons, Young “got it from when I was with the Yankees.”

It’s important to reiterate that before Manfred’s memo in 2017, players going into the replay room to learn what the signs were wasn’t illegal. The New York Yankees did it. This has been proven. However, what got exacerbated was how the Red Sox decided to employ similar practices. Young, instead of going to the replay room, had received texts FROM the replay room (once the sequence was deciphered) sent straight to the dugout. And so, the commissioner’s decree of electronic sign-stealing being illegal came to be.

What’s interesting is who in the Yankees got the team to start deciphering catcher signs in the replay room. No evidence came out of Andy Martino’s article for SNY reporting what Peter Gammons revealed today about who got the Yankees to start deciphering signs. But it’s worth noting that Beltran WAS on the Yankees when Young was a Yankee. Beltran heralded for his sign-stealing abilities, would be the likely mastermind, especially with what we know about his orchestrating the Astros sign-stealing scandal.

So What Exactly Did Beltran do on the Yankees Last season?

The New York Yankees employed Carlos Beltran as a special advisor to the team in 2019. Some people think it’s fair to heap some of the criticism the Astros and Red Sox got on the Yankees, unjustifiably.

What Beltran Did for the Yankees

What role he had was well within the confines of the rules for the game. He broke down the video for the Yankees, analyzing pitchers, and what the pitchers were giving away, and how the hitters could exploit that. It also worked for our starting pitchers. He analyzed their pitching performances to see if they were tipping their pitches to opponents.

For instance, after a rough outing James Paxton had in May (against Houston at Minute Maid Park), Paxton said this about an encounter he had with Beltran:

“I was talking to Carlos Beltran a little bit, he was in here, and he showed me some video and he said, ‘Look at these takes, look at this swing. They wouldn’t be making these swings or these takes if they didn’t know what was coming.’”

It seems like a weird thing to tell Paxton when the Astros would’ve known what was coming even if Paxton wasn’t tipping his pitches.

What Beltran DIDN’T Do for the Yankees

In the ALCS, the Yankees felt the Astros were cheating through whistling. Beltran, however, remained mum about the sign-stealing system he helped implement in Houston. Beltran probably stayed quiet for fear of what would happen to his future career if word got out he spilled the beans on the Astros to the Yankees. Maybe he didn’t want to implement the Yankees, should word about the cheating become public (which it inevitably did)?

Remember that inside the park home run he gave up while playing right field for the Yankees? Because I do. Knowing he sat on this information, rather than helping us out, it makes me wonder if he actually ever wanted to be a Yankee at all.

The New York Mets Managerial Malediction

New York Mets, Mets

The New York Mets have a manager problem. Again.

For the 4th time in 5 years, the Mets are looking for a new manager to lead the team. And with less than a month before pitchers and catchers report, it’s not like they’re going to have a lot of time to secure someone who can truly evaluate the team. Part of it was Brodie Van Wagenen’s fault, as he didn’t press Beltrán about his involvement in the Astros cheating scandal before he was hired, but that’s not important. What is important is trying to find the right person for the job in the span of a few weeks.

Lead Candidates for the Mets

In a report by Danny Abriano for SNY, Luis Rojas is reportedly the lead candidate right now being discussed internally by the team. Rojas is only 38 years old, but young managers are in vogue right now. What works to his advantage is that he’s a coach who’s worked his way up through the Mets system, from when he joined in 2006. Rojas would then have a closer relationship with homegrown stars like Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonzo, and Brandon Nimmo, who would get vets like Cano, Cespedes, and Betances fully on board. Three other potentials include Hensley Meulens, Tim Bogar, and Eduardo Perez.

Maybe Go Old School

It’s no surprise that front offices want managers who will abide by the analytical information provided by their analytics department. Which has resulted in managers like Buck Showalter and Bruce Bochy out of the game? With a mess like this, the manager got fired for his involvement in a cheating scandal, someone hard-nosed and old school may be just the kick in the pants an organization needs. The players on the Mets, Red Sox and Astros are all going to be distracted come Spring training by the added media attention around their former manager’s departure. Buck Showalter would be a perfect guy to keep a team focused, cut out all the noise, and get his men to focus on the task at hand. Getting to the 2020 World Series.

Why Carlos Beltran puts the New York Yankees in the line of fire

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Carlos Beltran

It seems as if all paths lead back to Carlos Beltran regarding the sign-stealing allegations made against the Houston Astros and other individual players/coaches. While these allegations have turned into full-flight consequential actions, people like Beltran are becoming targets, and their relationships with the teams are also being investigated. While the New York Yankees aren’t being investigated for any wrongdoings, Beltran, who has been heavily connected with the Astros’ cheating ways, he did serve as a special advisor for the team in 2019.

The New York Yankees were thrown under the bus by Alex Cora, as a deflection:

“I was joking with somebody that their biggest free-agent acquisition is Carlos Beltran. I know how he works. He’s helped them a lot,” said Cora after the final game there. “They’re very into details, and we have to clean our details. It was eye-opening, the last two days, from top to bottom.

Cora’s comments are concerning, primarily due to his direct involvement with the scandal and knowledge of Beltran’s activities. The Yankees being involved with the former player could make them a target, despite starting pitcher James Paxton’s experience with Beltran being completely legal.

“I was talking to Carlos Beltran a little bit, he was in here, and he showed me some video and he said, ‘Look at these takes, look at this swing. They wouldn’t be making these swings or these takes if they didn’t know what was coming,’” Paxton said. “That being said, I also didn’t throw the ball very well. I was over the middle of the plate too much, even when there were guys not on second base, so I need to be better at that as well.”

Overall, pitchers are the victim in the sign-stealing allegations, as they’re ultimately being taken advantage of due to the lack of unpredictability. If Beltran was working with the pitchers, there’s no foul, but if he was attempting to create an advantage with the hitters, that’s when there could be issues.

However, the Yankees’ players have generally been outgoing regarding the situation in baseball, supporting to the uncovering of these schemes. While it’s obvious no player would purposefully out themselves, most players would remain quiet if they had anything to hide. The Bombers, on the other hand, are right int the mix, enjoying the show.

Mets Players to Fans: We’ll be Ready for the Season

There’s a lot of turmoil going on in Flushing these days with manager Carlos Beltran and the New York Mets ‘mutely’ parting ways over his involvement in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Beltran’s role in the scandal turned out to be more than originally suspected and there was no way he could take the reins of the Mets – or any team for that matter – with this stigma of cheating attached to his name.

The Mets will find a new manager soon and the players are vowing there will be no lapse in their day-to-day lives, which makes sense since Beltran hasn’t run spring training or managed a single game.

Pete Alonso, the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year and Major League home run champion who has taken a leadership role on this club, assured fans that the Mets will be ready come the regular season.

Pitcher Marcus Stroman is another Mets player putting a positive spin on things. From WFAN:

Stroman responded to Alonso’s post with a similar sentiment, “I’m ready to rock my bro.” Stroman, earlier, took a moment to reflect on the latest developments, highlighted by the firing of Boston’s Alex Cora, Houston’s AJ Hinch and Beltran for their involvement in the scandal.

 

“This is crazy,” Stroman said. “Truly can’t believe all this s- coming out in baseball. Just going to sit back and see how it all plays out. I know my thoughts but those will stay internal. I’ve learned that “no comment” is the best option at times!”

Pitchers and catchers report on February 11 with the rest of the team coming in  on February 16. We’ll see then if they really are ready.

Mets’ legendary first baseman and television analyst Keith Hernandez believes the Mets will be just fine.