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Carlos Beltrán headed to the YES booth



With the Hall of Fame voting finished and as we continue to wait for the lockout to end (please, any day now, thanks), there is not a whole lot of news in MLB. The big news from the weekend is Carlos Beltrán’s return to baseball after his incredibly short tenure of the Mets in 2020.

I think it’s fair to say that there are a lot of Yankee fans out there who are understandably still pretty bitter about their loss to the Astros in the 2017 ALCS and Carlos Beltrán was right in the middle of the sign-stealing scandal. When his role in the scandal was revealed, he quickly was dismissed by the Mets and has basically stayed away from baseball for the last couple of years. Alex Cora missed one season of managing the Red Sox for his role, but returned in 2021.

Beltrán was a player I always enjoyed watching, both before, during, and after his Yankee tenure and I think it’ll be interesting to hear him in the YES booth. By all accounts, he is very knowledgeable about the game. Beyond his playing career, he worked as a special advisor with the Yankees in 2019 and was interviewed for their managing position prior to Aaron Boone getting the job.

Once again, as the lockout has slowed baseball news to a crawl, Beltrán’s hiring as an analyst for YES has given the press something to try to blow out of proportion – at least, in my opinion. For example, Sports Illustrated hints that this is how the former outfielder is trying to rehab his image before he appears on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2023. Beltrán had an impressive 20 year career, compiling a WAR of 70.1, picking up nine All-Star nods, three Gold Gloves, and Rookie of the Year honors.

As far as I can tell, the only blemish on Beltrán’s record is his involvement in the sign-stealing scandal in his last season with the Astros. Is that going to be enough to disqualify him? I don’t think it should – especially after Ortiz’s section this year, but I guess we need to wait and see if Ortiz is just some weird exception to the PED “rule.” Personally, I don’t find the sign-stealing nearly as egregious as taking PEDs. I also don’t think Beltrán’s role in the Astros scandal should negate the otherwise stellar 19 previous seasons he played.

Pete Caldera questions whether Beltrán owes an apology to the Yankees, but in the same article mentions their own potential questionable actions deciphering opponents’ signs. Here’s the thing – if Beltrán decides to apologize to Aaron Judge or any of the other Yankees who feel slighted because of his actions in 2017, that’s their business and good for them. On the other hand, I think that the press and fans have made the sign-stealing scandal out to be more dramatic than it probably is to the players.

I even came across an article where they insinuate that Beltrán’s hiring as a YES analyst means that Aaron Boone needs to watch out for his job. So, which is it? Is he trying to rehab his image? Or is he looking over Boone’s shoulder – after he apologizes, of course. Or maybe he just felt it was time to get back to baseball, the game that has dominated his life.

This lockout needs to end.

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