Hiring Carlos Beltran feels like an unnecessary risk

Hiring Carlos Beltran feels like an unnecessary risk

by Tim Reilly October 15, 2019 0 Comments

Before Mickey Callaway was even relieved the rumblings started about Carlos Beltran being the next Mets manager. He’s the hot name right now (not named Joe Girardi) and has helped the Mets maintain some back-page relevancy while watching October baseball from home. It’s one way for the Mets to create a headline, just not the kind fans would prefer to be making this time of year.

Reports have indicated that Beltran would only consider the Mets opening at this point. Prior to Game 2 of the ALCS, Beltran did a little campaigning for the job.

Smart move by Beltran. He’s endeared himself in the NY media, especially during the tail end of his career with the Yankees where he now serves as an advisor. They’re a powerful engine that will at least ensure Beltran receives full consideration.

We all know what Beltran did as a player, with the Mets and elsewhere. He’s a legit Hall of Fame candidate and by all accounts has a great head for the game. The thing is, to me, hiring Beltran feels like making a splash simply for the sake of making a splash.  

There’s a trend in baseball of hiring first-time, young managers and seeing instant success. Alex Cora won a World Series with the Red Sox and Aaron Boone has the Yankees hot in pursuit of a ring (f--- me). On the flip side, the Mets just went through this with Callaway. He wasn’t the best manager and he wasn’t the worst. There’s no doubt Callaway cost the Mets due to his in-game decisions. There’s also no doubt that the team played hard for him and showed no signs of quit down the stretch. You have to at least give Callaway credit for that.

However, the team is ready to win now and Callaway, despite two years on the job, didn’t make enough progress as an in-game manager to prove he’s the right man to get the Mets over the hump. That’s why I am against hiring Beltran. He could turn out to be an all-time manager, I just can’t take that chance. The time is now to win, and you can’t risk having another manager learning on the fly holding them back. The Mets can’t miss with this hire and Beltran has to be on the high-risk list.

Beltran’s strength of being a players-first manager is the same strength Callaway had. The players respected him and played hard, but they needed someone who could be trusted to push the right buttons, too. I fear a déjà vu situation could occur, at least initially in Beltran’s potential tenure. And the Mets just don’t have much room for error in a stacked division.

If the Mets were in a rebuilding mode I think I would be all aboard the Beltran train. The Mets aren’t rebuilding though. With the window this core has, I need a manager with experience and no learning curve to worry about. Give me Joe Girardi. Give me Buck Showalter. Give me Joe Maddon. Don’t give me Dusty Baker.

I think Beltran will be a fine manager someday. It’s just not the right time or the right place. Down the road, I love the idea of Beltran roaming the dugout and getting redemption by hoisting a World Series trophy in Queens. I just can’t go down looking with managers like this out there ready to help this team win now.




Tim Reilly
Tim Reilly

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