Posted on November 2, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine

New York Mets Carlos Beltran
Image via newsday.com

The New York Mets are the latest team to fill their managerial vacancy. Friday night, they turned to one of their former stars, naming Carlos Beltran as their new manager. Beltran replaces Mickey Calloway, who was fired following the season after two years in charge of the Mets. This will be the first managerial job at any level for the 42-year-old Beltran, who is just two years removed from his retirement as a player.

“Congratulations to Carlos. We are thrilled, as we know our passionate fans will be, to have him back in the family,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “Thanks to [Mets GM] Brodie [Van Wagenen] and the entire baseball operations staff on this expansive, diverse and collaborative managerial search process.”

Beltran played 20 seasons in the majors, including six and a half years with the Mets in the prime of his career. He was American League Rookie of the Year in 1999 and was an all-star nine times. After retiring after the 2017 season, Beltran interviewed with the Yankees for their managerial opening that ultimately went to Aaron Boone. He spent this past season as an advisor to the Yankees, who he played for from 2014 to 2016. After getting a second chance to interview for a managerial job with his first New York club, Beltran will get his chance to lead a major league club.

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“At the beginning, it’s a little bit overwhelming. There’s a lot of information that you have to digest,” Beltran said after his interview with the Yankees two years ago. “Being a player and being able to play this game for such a long time, I have seen a lot, and I have seen the importance of what players need in the clubhouse.”

The Mets had a rather extensive managerial search, reportedly bringing back some candidates for a third interview. ESPN analyst Eduardo Pérez, Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar, and Joe Girardi, who has since been hired by the Phillies, were among the other serious candidates the Mets considered. Ultimately, they chose Beltran, who is familiar with the organization from his days as a player and declined an invitation to interview with the Padres for their managerial vacancy, showing that the Mets job was the only one he wanted.

Of course, Beltran’s time with the Mets was not without its rocky moments. Many fans remember him striking out looking to end the 2006 NLCS, blaming him for the loss in what is an absurd narrative. There was also tension with the front office when Beltran underwent knee surgery in 2010 without the team signing off on it first. However, Beltran has put all of that in the past and is only focused on the future.

“I don’t think you can continue to progress in life if you think about the past,” says Beltran. “What happened with the Mets — the ups and downs, the way and the perception and the way the fans thought about me — for me, that was a moment where I was able to turn that page.”

Meanwhile, there is also risk for the Mets in hiring a manager with no previous experience. They did the same two years ago when they hired Calloway and it didn’t pay off. But short of hiring a more experienced manager, Beltran might be the best choice for the job. He has played in New York, has two decades of experience as a player to draw upon, and has earned the respect of his peers everywhere he has gone.

“He’ll be an amazing manager,” said Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who was teammates with Beltran when Houston won the World Series in 2017. “When he shows up and gets a job with the Mets, I feel like he’s going to change the culture of that clubhouse, he’s going to show the young players how to take care of business, how to study the other teams, how to take every single advantage that you can. He’s going to be a game-changer.”

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