Carlos Beltran
AP

Mets mum on Carlos Beltrán’s future as manager

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NEW YORK — The New York Mets haven’t said anything about Carlos Beltrán’s future, just days after the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox took decisive action. Both clubs fired their managers after Major League Baseball concluded they were involved in nefarious sign stealing.

Houston fired AJ Hinch one hour after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released his findings Monday. Boston’s management took 29 1/2 hours to announce Alex Cora’s departure on Tuesday.

Beltrán remains in limbo, with the Mets refusing to say whether their new manager stays or goes. In Manfred’s nine-page statement, Beltrán was the only player identified as a participant in the cheating scheme.

“They have to fire Carlos Beltrán,” a former New York Yankees teammate, Mark Teixeira, said Wednesday on ESPN, where he works as an analyst. “There’s no way that Carlos Beltrán, especially in the pressure cooker of New York, there’s no way he can be the manager of the Mets. … You cannot have that guy lead your team. The New York papers, the Daily News and the Post and all of the tabloids will eat up Carlos Beltrán every single day until he’s fired.”

Cora was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 and the instigator of the Astros’ use of a camera in center field and monitor near the dugout to steal catchers’ signals.

“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.

Red Sox’s view on Cora changed

Hinch and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow received one-season suspensions before owner Jim Crane fired them. Manfred decided not to discipline players — 2017 was Beltrán’s final season.

Mets management must ponder whether Beltrán can be an effective leader given his behavior. Would young players view him as a cheater pushing them to break the rules? Would Beltrán turn timid, afraid of attracting scrutiny from MLB investigators?

What would be the benefit of sticking with Beltrán, who has no previous managerial experience?

Red Sox owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom concluded Cora could not remain in Boston under similar circumstances.

“Alex by his own admission, and we agreed, played a central role in what went on in Houston,” Werner said. “We all agreed that it was wrong and that we had a responsibility as stewards, as John had said, to have a standard here where that sort of behavior is not acceptable.”

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.