The Dominos Keep on Falling: Carlos Beltran OUT as Mets Manager

Carlos Beltran was announced as the Mets manager in November. Before he even got the chance to step foot in the Mets dugout as their manager, he’s stepping down from the role as a result of the investigation to the electronic sign-stealing drama.

Beltran, a long time player for the Mets (2005 – 2011) is the only player to have been named (so far) in the scandal. He played his final year with the Astros in 2017, which was the year they won the World Series and the year that this whole scandal (allegedly) started. The MLB report on the investigation included:

Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltrán, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter.

However, there have been doubts cast on the timeline as to when this elaborate scheme actually started, and how many teams might have been doing something similar. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Logan Morrison claims this has been going on as far back as 2014, and there is even some video evidence floating around to support these claims.

Beltran is the third manager to part ways with his team this week as a result of the claims. The investigations into the Red Sox (and possibly other teams) are not yet complete, but it’s looking as though the penalties will be even harsher than those the Astros received. There’s no official word yet surrounding investigations into Morrison’s claims, though many baseball fans are calling for a look into the Yankees and Dodgers, and other teams as well. Take this example from Nick Nelson, writer for Twins Daily:

Beltran took on an advisory role within the Yankees organization in 2018 and 2019, and the sign stealing methods used in Houston may have been used in the Bronx as a result. This had been alluded to by the now-jobless Alex Cora (who served as a bench coach for the Astros in 2017) and Beltran’s former teammate, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman. This article from Business Insider brings old quotes by both Cora and Bregman into light. Cora was quoted as saying,

“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. They’re very into details, and we have to clean our details. It was eye-opening, the last two days, from top to bottom…. I’m not saying ‘devices,’ all that stuff, it’s just stuff that the game will dictate.”

Alex Cora, post London Series press conference, June 2019

I think Carlos Beltrán helped out the Yankees this year a lot. Like a lot lot…. He helps a lot behind the scenes.

– Alex Bregman, November 2019 in an interview with The Athletic

Some are even calling for the World Series titles in 2017 and 2018 to be stripped. The LA City Council is talking of a resolution declaring the Dodgers to be the champions for both of those seasons. (Unlikely, since the sign stealing was only made possible on the home turf, and both World Series were decided in Los Angeles).

What is the proper punishment/resolution moving forward? Do you strip the titles from the teams found to have cheated in their championship seasons? Do you ban teams from a year or two of post season play? Can MLB afford to ban the Astros, Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, and any other teams involved from post season play, or even an entire season? Some people say cheating is part of the game and to move on. Some are calling for blood (until their own team is mentioned) even on my tiny corner of the internet:

Over the course of my lifetime, there has been a few scandals that were questionably dealt with. Pete Rose was banned for life for betting on baseball and lying about it. (Do NOT get me started on this ban… let the man into the Hall before he dies. The end.) There was the steroid era. There were (maybe) juiced baseballs in 2018 and 2019. And now we have this latest cheating scandal. We all remember Pete Rose for being the all time hits leader, and there will likely never be anyone to come close to his record. We all remember Barry Bonds hitting 762 home runs, and it’ll be a long time before anyone comes anywhere near that number. So what becomes of the 2017 and 2018 World Series champions? Do they get asterisks by their names in the record books?

What if we find out that ALL of the teams have their own methods of stealing signs that aren’t just the baserunner at second relaying what he sees? Does MLB just ban the future use of technology to steal signs and move on? The questions keep coming and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, my friends. I have a feeling that these next few weeks are going to be interesting.

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.