The Mets have a decision to make regarding their new manager, Carlos Beltran.
The team has gone quiet since news broke of Beltran’s involvement in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal during their 2017 World Series championship season, when he was a player. Beltran, who was hired by the Mets in November, was the only player mentioned in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s nine-page report, which was released on Monday.
As a result of its findings, the league suspended Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a year, fined the franchise $5 million and took away its 2020 and ’21 first- and second-round draft picks.
Astros owner Jim Crane then fired both Luhnow and Hinch.
On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora, who was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017. The MLB report suggested Cora was heavily involved in the scheme. The Red Sox are currently under investigation for stealing signs during their 2018 championship season.
“We had a responsibility as stewards to have a standard here where that sort of behavior is not acceptable,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said at a Wednesday press conference.
MLB has said it will not discipline players from that 2017 team, but there is significant public pressure on the Mets, who have not voiced support for Beltran since the report was released. The last they spoke of him was not long after he was hired.
“We can trust Carlos and that goes a long way,” GM Brodie Van Wagenen said during a press conference on Nov. 4.
But Van Wagenen uttered those words before his new manager’s role in the sign-stealing scandal became public.
So what are the Mets thinking now? CBS2’s Otis Livingston has reached out to the team several times since the MLB report was released but has yet to receive a comment.
According to sources, the team has been huddling and will address this issue in the next 24 hours.
Opinions are split on whether Beltran should be fired. Former Mets GM Steve Phillips said the team should stand firm, tweeting Wednesday morning, “For those who think the #Mets should fire Beltran: How can they justify firing him for something he did three years ago when a member of another organization and the commissioner didn’t deem him worthy of penalties? He is different than Hinch, Luhnow and Cora.”
Mark Teixeira, Beltran’s former teammate with the Yankees, said the Mets are in a tough spot, but need to act now.
“Here, we’ve spent all this time trying to find our guy, really great baseball mind and Beltran is that, but he’s also a guy who cheated in the worst possible way during a World Series run! You cannot have that guy lead your team,” Teixeira said on ESPN on Wednesday.