The Mets may have made the right decision after all.
Carlos Beltran was very involved in the Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scandal, according to The Athletic, making the Mets’ decision to move on from him as manager before his first season appear to be a wise one.
Beltran, a veteran designated hitter on the 2017 Astros championship team, helped create the scheme along with then-bench coach Alex Cora, in which players knew ahead of time what pitches were coming, according to several Astros who spoke with The Athletic on the condition of anonymity.
For home games, a video monitor was positioned to transcribe signs from a center-field camera and members of the team then would bang on a garbage can within earshot of the batter.
In November, Beltran told The Post that he was “not aware of that camera,” and that “we were studying the opposite team every day.” But it’s clear now Beltran was a driving force in the Astros’ scheme.
When Beltran joined the Astros in 2017 after playing the previous three seasons with the Yankees, he told the Astros they were “behind the times” when it came to stealing signs, according to the report. Veteran catcher Brian McCann reportedly approached Beltran once about stopping the scheme, but it didn’t work.
“He disregarded it and steamrolled everybody,” one of the players said. “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?”
Beltran was a former star player with Hall of Fame credentials, and had the respect of the clubhouse.
Members of the 2017 team described Beltran to The Athletic as “the Godfather,” “El Jefe (the boss),” “the king” and the “alpha male.”
“I was in my first year, man,” former Astros and current Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove previously said on MLB Network. “Along with [Alex] Bregman and a lot of those guys, and in your first year in the big leagues you’re around guys like Beltrán and (Brian) McCann, some big names. And I’m not going to be the pitcher to walk up and tell ‘em to knock it off.”
But the Astros didn’t stop attempting to steal signs illegally when Beltran retired following that season, The Athletic reported. The younger players on the team didn’t step in that year, either.
The Mets moved on from Beltran after he was the only player named in baseball’s investigation that led to the Astros’ firing of manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, replacing the former Met and Yankee with first-year manager Luis Rojas.
The Post’s Joel Sherman reported one of the reasons the Mets moved on from Beltran was the fear of new details like these emerging and putting them in the middle of a controversy they had nothing to do with. The Mets hired the 42-year-old Beltran in November, just over a week before the initial reporting on the Astros’ cheating scandal came out. He was fired in January.
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