Mets: How the Astros scandal was mishandled and what should happen to Carlos Beltran

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Carlos Beltran talks to the media after being introduced by as the manager of the New York Mets during a press conference at Citi Field on November 4, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Carlos Beltran talks to the media after being introduced by as the manager of the New York Mets during a press conference at Citi Field on November 4, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The 2017 Houston Astros and their sign-stealing scandal have taken over the MLB news-cycle. Will the next leg in this tale involve the firing of New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran?

The talk around Major League Baseball over the last few days has been focused almost entirely on the sign-stealing scandal from 2017 involving the Houston Astros. It has bled over to the Boston Red Sox and similar circumstances in 2018. Now, with Carlos Beltran as the manager for the New York Mets, it has gone to Flushing.

As a technology professional and hearing about the punishment handed down from MLB to the manager and general manager of the Astros, I see why it was handled completely wrong. It’s similar to how they mismanaged the steroid problem of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The people that run Major League Baseball have to understand that teams have been attempting to steal signs since teams started using signs on the baseball field. This type of gamesmanship probably goes back to 1876 and is nothing new in the game.

What has changed, is now practically every person in the United States has a handheld computer in their pocket and on their wrists that has more usefulness and processing power than all the computers combined that put a man on the moon. It only makes sense that players, coaches and MLB teams have been using this advanced technology to enhance the stealing of signs on the baseball field.

Instead of acting like the sky is falling and it’s the end of the world, they really should have downplayed this so-called cheating. MLB then should have done some real research into this issue and figured out how they can control it and possibly limit it.

Rather than this, MLB has decided to make an example of the Astros (so far) and have already tarnished two of the last three World Champions. This rushed judgment and punishment will not stop the problem and will now become two black eyes to the great game of baseball, which is already struggling in regards to getting kids to play, watch and become fans of the game.

Do we really think that only the Astros and Red Sox were the only teams doing this? If that is what you think, you need to stop being so naive and realize that if one or two teams got caught doing this, more than fifty percent of all the teams are probably using technology to steal signs as well.

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Current player Logan Morrison has come out saying that the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers also had similar systems. I am sure more players will implicate more teams as we move toward the future. There is just too much technology around to not try to do this.

Think about how each game is video recorded from multiple camera angles just for the purpose of stat gathering and player development. It wouldn’t take much more of a process to use those technical systems to implement a steal signing system.

From a Mets perspective, the big question is how will this affect the manager Carlos Beltran. Will the Mets take any action?

Based on the initial reports, it does seem like Beltran played a major role in setting up the technology-based sign-stealing system. I think he should thank his lucky stars that the offices of Major League Baseball are so scared of the Player’s Union and decided to not punish any of the players involved (even though it does look like it was mostly the players’ idea).

But even with Beltran not going to be suspended, I believe this will definitely taint his reputation for good, keep him out of the Hall of Fame, and should cost him the Mets manager job he just recently was hired to do.

It does make you wonder why Beltran was hired in the first place, with so many other available managers with much more winning experience than Carlos.

Was Brodie Van Wagenen looking to Beltran to implement a similar sign-stealing system for the Mets? Maybe yes, maybe no. I wouldn’t want the manager to now become a huge distraction for the upcoming season with so much on the line for the ball club. It also allows Brodie a nice opportunity for a do-over and allows him to hire a manager who has at least some coaching/manager experience (like he should have done anyway).

You would think after the whole Mickey Callaway debacle, you would want someone you know can do the job. Someone like Joe Girardi who has had so many years of successfully managing in New York with the evil empire. As you can tell, I am still not over losing Girardi to the rival Phillies.

Another problem with how this was handled, is only the top players on World Series-winning teams are the ones who will be punished. What that shows, is MLB only cares about cheating if the team is successful? If a team using technology to steal signs but goes 70-92 it doesn’t matter?

As the technology gets more advanced and easier to hide, teams will continue to find ways to use it to their advantage. Instead of being reactive to this issue, MLB should have been pro-active, done the research to identify all the teams that were involved, and as mentioned before, come up with rules to control and limited the use of technology for this purpose.

Next. The Mets who "got away"

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I think traditional sign stealing is part of the game and it was never a problem before. The technology is not going away any time soon so it is time for MLB and their officials need to be smart about this and not damage the game any further.