Carlos Beltran
AP

Mets mum on Carlos Beltrán’s future as manager

10 Comments

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.”

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
3 Comments

On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: