Mets, Beltran 'Mutually Part Ways' In Wake Of Sign Stealing Scandal

WCBS 880 Newsroom
January 16, 2020 - 2:56 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Carlos Beltrán's stint as manager of the New York Mets has ended before it even started.

Beltrán is stepping down over his alleged role in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.

“We met with Carlos last night and again this morning and agreed to mutually part ways," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Mets Executive Vice President & General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a joint statement. "This was not an easy decision. Considering the circumstances, it became clear to all parties that it was not in anyone’s best interest for Carlos to move forward as Manager of the New York Mets. We believe that Carlos was honest and forthcoming with us. We are confident that this will not be the final chapter in his baseball career. We remain excited about the talent on this team and are committed to reaching our goals of winning now and in the future.”

Beltrán, who was hired two months ago, thanked the Mets for the opportunity, but said this decision was in the best interest of the team.

"I couldn’t let myself be a distraction for the team," he stated. "I wish the entire organization success in the future.”

Beltrán is the third baseball manager to lose his job amid fallout from the cheating scheme. The Astros cleaned house on Monday and the Red Sox parted ways with their manager on Tuesday.

An investigation by Major League Baseball confirmed the Houston Astros used technology to cheat during the World Series-winning 2017 season.

LISTEN: USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale shares his thoughts

Beltrán was the only player identified in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's nine-page statement as a participant in the cheating scheme.

“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,” Manfred wrote.

The Astros fired their general manager and manager on Monday. The team was also ordered to forfeit the first and second-round picks during the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts and slapped with a $5 million fine.

Boston fired Alex Cora as its manager after the investigation found he "originated and executed" the scheme when he was a bench coach in Houston.

The scheme involved Houston using a center field camera to decode catchers' signals to pitchers. The information was then relayed to batters by banging on a trash can.

Fans who spoke with WCBS 880's Peter Haskell said they think the Mets made the right decision and now it's time to move on.

"I don't think it hurts them one bit," one fan said. "They have a good team, the players are going to make the team, so I don't think it's going to hurt them at all."

"I think if they pick a new manager, people have short memories, once the season starts, everybody gets into baseball and all of the politics get left behind," another fan said.

With spring training less than a month away, the big question for the Mets now is who's next?

Veteran Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose believes Terry Collins might be the team's best bet. 

"The one obvious candidate if you want to become a caretaker would be Terry Collins who's still in the Mets' employ and who after having been originally thought of as some sort of a caretaker when he was hired about a decade ago wound up managing more games than anybody in the history of the franchise so it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that they turn to Terry Collins to try to save them here," Rose said. "Or they look outisde the organization and start a search all over again and I don't know that they've got the stomach for that so close to spring training."

Earlier Thursday, the Mets renamed their street address at Clover Park in honor of Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza. That news has been overshadowed by the Beltrán decision.