The New York Mets kicked off November by announcing a deal with former star outfielder Carlos Beltran to become the team’s manager in 2020. Fans should be optimistic about the deal.
After a very long hiring process, the New York Mets finally announced on Friday that they had hired one of their former players, All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran to replace Mickey Callaway as New York’s manager, signing a three-year deal with the team with a club option for a fourth year.
As a player, Beltran first signed with the Mets in 2005 and played the better part of 7 years in Queens before being dealt to the San Francisco Giants in 2011 at that years trade deadline, in exchange for Zack Wheeler.
Beltran’s career with the Mets was filled with highs and lows, with the high point undoubtedly being his 2006 season, where the club won the NL pennant and made it to the NLCS. However, there were quite a few lows as well, as Beltran missed significant time in the 2009 and 2010 seasons due to injury.
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This signing has taken many by surprise, myself included. Following Callaway’s dismissal, many fans were hoping for him to be replaced by a manager with experience, such as Buck Showalter or Joe Girardi. However, the Mets opted to bring in a rookie manager, which has many fans scratching their heads.
While I admit, this would not be my first choice to take over the reins as the manager for New York, I feel fans should look at this hiring with an open mind, and I remind you: Every great manager at one point was a rookie manager.
Firstly, Beltran knows how to handle a bat, as his career numbers show for themselves. For years, especially in New York, he was one of the most feared hitters in the league, and his expertise in this area should definitely help to develop the potential of many of the team’s young hitters.
While he may not have managed a team in New York before, Beltran knows what it is like to play here, and more importantly, deal with the city’s notoriously rough media. As previously said, Beltran was a member of the 2006 NL Champion Mets, as well as in the 2015 Wild Card with the Yankees, so he knows what it is like to be on a winning team in New York.
Likewise, he was also a member of the collapses of 2007 and 2008, and from 2009-2011, was a part of some very unsuccessful Mets teams. Over that time, Beltran learned who to deal with a rough media, and as he showed, still managed to keep a level head and perform with the press against the team.
Additionally, although he may not have any official managerial experience, Beltran has been known as a locker room leader throughout the majority of the year, and is spoken very highly of in that regard by many players and coaches alike.
In particular, Houston Manager AJ Hinch said that, in 2017, when Beltran won the World Series as a member of the Astros, he was a “player/coach” for the team and his leadership was a big part of his championship run.
Beltran did a great job being a very stable person/player for our players. His steadiness and balanced approach to the clubhouse was really good for them. He was able to share a lot of what made him good for so long with our guys…Making all the decisions and handling the media is different as a manager, but the game has never presented a challenge to Carlos he couldn’t handle. I’ve never been around a player more respected, so he would have the players’ support.
He may lack the experience that Mets fans were hoping for when the team began the search for a new manager, but one thing is for certain, Carlos Beltran knows the game in and out. He’s a 20-year veteran of the game, and not many players are as well talked about or respected as Beltran is throughout the league.
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If the Mets were dead set on hiring a rookie manager to hopefully lead the team to the playoffs in 2020, Beltran is certainly the best choice they could have made.