By setting the record for the quickest tenure by a manager for the New York Mets in their storied history – no MLB games managed before parting ways – Carlos Beltran has placed a target on his back. But his mistreatment of the game that has given him everything and then some speaks to a much larger issue that needs to be addressed first and foremost.
As the only player named in the official MLB report detailing the cheating scandal that rocked the sport of baseball, the former member of the Houston Astros has lost all credibility that he had established throughout his storied professional career. His role of being the manager for the Mets was established before he was officially named in the report, but it still puts an unintended black eye on the Mets’ organization that desperately needs something to go right.
In a recent report published by The Athletic and written by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, Beltran is noted as the ‘driving force’ behind the cheating that essentially pushed the Astros to the top of the league with their World Series title in 2017, winning in seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Steamrolling all players, especially the impressionable younger players that had really no chance to speak up about it, is how the cheating spread its way throughout the entirety of the roster, even if players did not agree with it. Well-respected veterans, like Brian McCann, came up and confronted Carlos Beltran about what he was doing, and yet Beltran was in absolutely no mood or manner to heed the power that he had worked to earn.
Garbage-can banging, outfield camera utilization, and the decoding of signs of their opponents are the main results of this pursuit of perfection, led by Beltran and the Astros, and while their championship in ‘17 was seen as a result of this scandal, much more damage has been done as a result of these fateful actions.
The team’s manager at the time, A.J. Hinch, was well aware of the ongoing cheating, as was bench coach Alex Cora and general manager Jeff Luhnow, even though Luhnow publicly commented that he had no direct knowledge of the ongoing cheating. Hinch and Luhnow were both subsequently fired after being suspended by the MLB, after which Hinch was interviewed and let it be known that while he was well aware of the illegal activities, that he did not do enough to stop them and apparently wishes that he would have done more.
Beltran’s role in this whole scheme was labeled by some former Astros players as the ‘Grandfather or El Jefe’ of the situation, and he was treated by the rest of the roster as such. In control for the entirety of the situation, Beltran’s legacy in the MLB will forever be tarnished, especially for a veteran presence that made stops with the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees St. Louis Cardinals, and the Astros across a 19-year career.
Scandal Results & Outcomes
Carlos Beltran is out of a managerial job and should never be able to get a job in the MLB ever again, Luhnow is out of his GM position and may see a role as a senior adviser pop up in a year or two, and Hinch’s role as the Astros’ scapegoat of sorts as their manager earned him (and Luhnow) a trip to the unemployment line and a one-year suspension for their contributions.
However, the biggest result of this scandal is the countless players that found themselves to be victims of this, in the form of opposing players. Many pitchers, specifically, who were just trying to make an impression at the big-league level or were established veterans that were just going about their business, were shellacked in certain instances by the Astros if they were playing in Houston.
Unbeknownst to those same players was that that game would be the final game of that season, or even their season, at the major league level, due to how putrid of a stat line that they produced. Out of an MLB roster spot, which guarantees players who are used to a minor-league paycheck a much larger one than normal, was a huge turning point in the careers of some players.
The sport of baseball will never be the same, especially with how far-reaching this scandal went. In the back of the mind of everyone in the league now, especially with how long it took for anything to change, goes to show that teams are willing to mostly do anything, regardless of the outcomes or the results.
The Astros and the Boston Red Sox are the two teams that were highlighted in the league’s findings of cheating, and each team has had to deal with fallout and ramifications as such.
For the Astros, they were given a $5 million fine, as well as the removal of their first and second-round draft selections in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, which ultimately does not impact this franchise all that much. If a financial penalty for one of the biggest revenue-generating teams in the league only amounts to $5 million, and they also only lose four draft selections, it would not be a surprise to see other teams potentially try this method down the road at some point.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are only expected to receive “no more than a light punishment,” according to a report by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. With Cora having been replaced by bench coach Ron Roenicke as the team’s manager, the Red Sox now will go into Spring Training with a much-maligned mindset of their organization, starting with their new manager, who was the more experienced option on the roster for them to hire.
Baseball is undergoing a change in identity it seems, as commissioner Rob Manfred has been floating out the idea of changing up the postseason slate by adding two more teams to it, per league. While the timing of the release of this news is very convenient for the league to try and push the cheating scandal underneath the rug, the fact still remains that with the contributions of Carlos Beltran to this damning scandal, it has set the sport of baseball and the MLB back for a number of years.