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Mets to hire Carlos Beltrán as their new manager

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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com hears from a source that the New York Mets plan to make Carlos Beltrán their new manager.

Earlier today we heard that the job was either going to to him or to Eduardo Pérez, but apparent Fred Wilpon — the final decision maker — gave the nod to the man who played center field for the Mets between 2005 and 2011.

Beltrán has spent the past two seasons since he retired as a special assistant for the Yankees. He has made no secret of his desire to manage, however, and was interviewed by the Yankees before they hired Aaron Boone following the 2017 season. Beltrán had just retired as a player then, however, so it seemed like both he and the Yankees felt like he needed a little time first. Now he’s had that time and now, it seems, he’s going to lead the Mets into the 2020 season.

The Mets fired Mickey Callaway following a strange but, ultimately, promising 2019 season. The club struggled mightily in the first half but then caught fire in July and August, thrusting themselves into the playoff picture. Though they fell short, the emergence of young talents like sure-thing Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto and the continued excellent pitching of Jacob deGrom pushed the Mets to 86 wins on the season. The team would appear to be but a few moves away from true contention with this current core. And, given that Callaway often seemed more than a bit befuddled at the helm in his first big league manager job, a new skipper will obviously help.

Beltrán obviously has no managerial experience, but he has long been spoken of by those inside the game as future managerial material. The future, it seems, is now.

Indians send down Clevinger, Plesac after virus blunder

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND — After hearing Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac explain their actions, the Cleveland Indians sent the pitchers to their alternate training site on Friday after the two broke team rules and Major League Baseball coronavirus protocol last weekend in Chicago.

Clevinger and Plesac drove to Detroit separately with their baseball equipment on Thursday for an “open forum” meeting at the team’s hotel before the Indians opened a series with the Tigers.

Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said following “the discussion” that he met with manager Terry Francona, general manager Mike Chernoff and decided it was best to option Plesac and Clevinger to the alternate training site instead of allowing them to rejoin the team.

“We had a chance to meet as small group and decided this would be the best path of action for us,” Antonetti said.

So before the opener, the Indians activated Clevinger and Plesac from the restricted list and optioned them to Lake County.

It’s a stunning slide for the right-handers and close friends, both considered important pieces for the Indians. There’s no indication when they may be back on Cleveland’s roster. They’ll have to be at Lake County for at least 10 days.

Last weekend, the pitchers broke the team’s code of conduct implemented during the pandemic by leaving the team hotel and having dinner and socializing with friends of Plesac’s and risking contracting the virus.

While the Indians got a car service to take Plesac back to Cleveland, Clevinger flew home with the team after not telling the Indians he had been out with his teammate.

Although both players have twice tested negative for COVID-19 this week, the Indians aren’t ready to have them back.

Earlier this week, pitcher Adam Plutko said he felt betrayed.

“They hurt us bad,” Plutko said after Cleveland’s lost 7-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. “They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on.”

Antonetti was asked if there are still hard feeling in the clubhouse toward the pair.

“We’re all a family,” Antonetti said. “We spend a lot of time together. Sometimes there are challenges in families you have to work through. I’d use that analogy as it applies here. There are things that have happened over the course of the last week that have been less than ideal and people have some thoughts and feelings about that.”

Both Clevinger and Plesac issued apologies in the days after their missteps. However, on Thursday, the 25-year-old Plesac posted a six-minute video on Instagram in which he acknowledged breaking team curfew but then aimed blame at the media, saying he and Clevinger were being inaccurately portrayed as “bad people.”

Antonetti said he watched the video.

“I’m not sure Zach was able to convey what he intended to convey in the video after having a chance to speak with him afterwards,” he said. “I think if he had a do-over, he may have said things a bit differently.”

Francona also felt Plesac could have chosen a better way to handle the aftermath.

“I was disappointed,” he said.