2:54pm: There’s “legitimate concern” for Beltran’s job at the moment, Puma tweets.
7:36am: When Carlos Beltran was hired to manage the Mets on November 1st, his stint as a veteran anchor of the 2017 World Series-winning Astros was one of his better resume lines. With two other managers now fired for their roles in the Houston sign-stealing scandal, and Beltran cited as a participant in the report on the scheme, his time with the ’Stros now represents a stain that calls into some doubt his future in New York.
Beltran won’t be suspended by the commissioner Rob Manfred since he was a player at the time of the rules violations. And there is no specific indication at this point that Beltran’s new job is in jeopardy. But with Alex Cora following A.J. Hinch onto the unemployment rolls, it’s inevitable that the Mets will need to reach a decision on Beltran and address it with the media.
When the Astros scandal broke, Mike Puma of the New York Post notes on Twitter, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was rather dismissive of the idea that it would have any impact on Beltran’s status. “I have no idea if anything did or did not,” said Van Wagenen, “but at this point I don’t see any reason why this is a Mets situation.”
The GM didn’t know then that Beltran would specifically be cited as a chief protagonist (alongside Cora) in the perpetration of the Houston rules violation scheme. And the magnitude of the scandal wasn’t yet clear. It also now seems that Beltran lied in his prior comments on the subject to the media.
At the moment, the Mets are taking a deliberative approach, per SNY.tv’s Andy Martino (Twitter link). While the Red Sox acted quickly to dump Cora, his departure was more obviously mandated by recent developments (including the fact of a separate investigation into the Boston organization). Beltran is at the moment preparing for his first Spring Training in the managerial seat, per Martino.
Indeed, we’re just a month out of the opening of camp, which will officially kick off a rather momentous year for the Mets organization. As Ken Davidoff and Joel Sherman of the New York Post explain in their worthwhile summation of the subject, there’s a reasonable concern that the high-profile situation will create quite the distraction for the Mets. That’s all the more true given that Hinch and Cora will be sitting out spring camp; Beltran will be scheduled to engage with the media on a daily basis and was already sure to attract close coverage.
There’s also the question whether an ethically compromised figure still ought to be trusted with the keys to the roster, a topic that the Post duo also broach. And perhaps there’s still some thirst around the game (and in the public sphere) to see further punishment meted out. That consideration doesn’t change the moral equation for the Mets, but does create added potential practical difficulties. On the other hand, making a change at this point obviously comes with a host of other risks.
It’s a tough spot for the Mets, who otherwise had no connection whatsoever to this scandal. How Van Wagenen navigates the situation could well weigh heavily on his own long-term job security.