Carlos Beltran is certainly responsible for his own actions, but the New York Mets bungled the way they handled the situation.
The timing of Beltran’s dismissal has left Mets fans feeling confused and frustrated. It also leaves the team with a number of pressing questions.
Where does the franchise go from here? Who is the top candidate to replace him? How will this affect the Mets’ “win-now” strategy? Should MLB have included Beltran’s name in their report? And most pressing: How is the team in the same position as two proven cheaters in the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox?
While these questions will take time to answer, one thing is certain: the Mets handled this situation poorly. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that the team had no way of knowing what was coming. Beltran was considered to be a coveted asset at the time of his hiring. It’s not the team’s fault that all of this unexpectedly fell on their laps.
However, if life were always easy, everyone would be in leadership positions. This is major league baseball. A league at the height of the sports world. Franchises pay very well to ensure that they have elite leaders in their front offices. Every team is seeking men and women who will be proactive when things start to cave in around them.
The Mets reaction did not display good leadership. Rather than choosing to be proactive and make their own decision, the team elected to be reactive. If they didn’t feel comfortable with Beltran as their manager, the decision could have been made before this point. Instead, the franchise waited for outrage from the media and fans to pressure them into a decision. If they had doubts about whether they could trust Beltran, they had every right to pull the trigger. Instead, it has been reported that they never even asked their new manager about the accusations.
If they felt good about the future, they could have kept him. Instead, they decided to drag out the proceedings while their existing reputation of dysfunction increased.
Beltran was publicly connected to the scandal since November of 2019. MLB’s recent ten-page report didn’t break any major news about Beltran. Could you imagine a world where the Mets made their decision earlier? They could have even beaten MLB to the punch by making the decision that was best for their franchise before the hammer dropped on Houston. Or at the very least been prepared to make the move as soon as the official investigation concluded.
On the other hand, they could have showed fans all over the sports world that they were committed to their manager and to their decision to keep him. The team could have publicly displayed that they would not be bullied by a sports media landscape that needed a talking point to carry them to the Super Bowl.
A Personal Note
Like many fans, I was of the opinion that the team should retain Beltran. However, even I could have been swayed if the team had acted quickly and decisively. I could have bought into the fact that the Mets may have had additional information about the situation. I could have respected their willingness to step up and make a difficult decision.
Instead, I am left feeling as though the team was pressured into changing course by people with no real authority over them. ESPN’s Buster Onley echoed this sentiment on a recent episode of Baseball Tonight, stating that the Mets are the franchise most affected by public perception he has seen.
I understand that criticizing leaders is the easiest thing in the world. But in situations like this, I can’t help but feel as though it is warranted.
The Mets now sit in the same place as the Astros and Red Sox. Minus the cheating and Championships of course. They must find a manager to lead their team as quickly as possible. That manager will also be thrust into a position where they have a matter of weeks to implement strategy, build connections, and get to know their new players.
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It’s a sad day in the world of the New York Mets. I sincerely hope that the team is able to find a suitable replacement who will help the team excel in 2020. I hope that they are able to overcome this mess and reach their postseason goals. However, it is undeniable that the new year has begun in an incredibly disappointing fashion.