Shockwaves hit Major League Baseball yesterday as the hammer came down on the Houston Astros with general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch receiving one-year suspensions and then fired from their jobs for their inability to police the Astros sign steeling in the 2017 season.
Then today, Red Sox manager Alex Cora agreed to part ways with Boston, because his impending punishment with the Astros and then the Sox in 2018.
That leaves just one person mentioned in the report employed in a managerial role and the Mets need to do something about Carlos Beltran.
No player was punished by Rob Manfred yesterday and Beltran was a player at the time, but the report implicated the current Mets manager as the ringleader and he was the only player named in the nine page finding.
Now, MLB does have a CBA negotiation coming up and Manfred may not want to go to war with the Players Association so close to coming to the table.
That’s fine, but that doesn’t exonerate Beltran either.
At the very least, Beltran needs to meet with the media and take some medicine. He already denied any involvement, so he will need to build up back some trust. This can’t wait either. The Mets don’t want this to become part of spring training, so having this in the next week or two is imperative.
But I wouldn’t expect Beltran taking a hit here. Unlike Hinch and Cora, who were going to be suspended next year – and in Cora’s case – probably beyond, Beltran received no punishment, so if the Mets dismiss him, they would be on the hook, paying him the full $3 million contract without managing a game.
Remember, the Mets are still paying Mickey Callaway this year and the Wilpons generally detest paying managers not to manage their team.
So, unless Beltran decides to quit, the Mets will probably stand behind their manager. However, it’s time to clear the air. The Mets need to do this separately and not let it interfere with their Fan Fest coming in about 10 days. Beltran needs to stand there. Admit he had a role and offer contrition and take the arrows that go with it.
That way the Mets can turn the page.
Once that’s out of the way, Beltran and the Mets can move onto the serious business winning in 2020, something Hinch and Cora won’t be worrying about next season.