Keidel: Carlos Beltran Fiasco Is Further Proof The Mets Never Make Things Easy

Once Again, The Situation Is Worse Than It Should Be

Jason Keidel
January 21, 2020 - 1:09 pm
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So, the Mets morphed into cephalopods. They went spineless over Carlos Beltran, letting him hang out to dry, craft a mea culpa and vanish from Flushing because he was named in a report. 

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The Mets finished the 2019 season with mojo and momentum, flipping a sorry first half into a promising 86-76 mark and a palpable sense that they were perhaps a player and skipper from first place. Yet in their unique way, the Mets managed to make fired manager Mickey Callaway look like the adult in the room. They canned Callaway because he seemed, at times, to be over his skis, not quite savvy enough to handle the magnitude of the Mets and Big Apple.

So, Beltran was the choice, for his sprawling, sublime playing career, plus his twin-stints in both NYC baseball uniforms. Even if you wanted Joe Girardi - and you had every right to - it was hard to argue against the wise, cool and bilingual Beltran. 

Then the Mets caved under the political weight of the Astros sign-stealing scandal. Though they were under no order from MLB and were under no massive urging from baseball fans to do so, the Mets somehow hired and fired the same man in two months, without him spending one day in the dugout.

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 Nov. 4, 2019.
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Mets will hire someone else, of course, but it's too often like this: turning something light into a fight. They are too often on the wrong side of the Big Apple baseball coin, shriveling in the shadow of their uncles in the Bronx. 

Now we're facing the shards of another disaster. Yoenis Cespedes just posted a self-styled highlight reel. He's running and swinging and flexing what's left of his chops. Unlike the Beltran fiasco, this one is not entirely the Mets' fault. Cespedes lifted the club to the 2015 World Series with his electric play and eccentric style. There was no Pete Alonso to fill Cespedes's curious shoes, so they signed the slugger to monster money. And Cespedes has all but vanished since, playing 132 games in 2016, then 81 games the next year, then 38, and then he just stopped playing last year.  

Cespedes has twirled in a spin cycle of strange stories ever since - only he knows which parts are true - from playing golf when he was hurt to getting hurt on his farm. Is it a coincidence that his best two seasons with the Mets were in 2015 and 2016, when he was playing for a new contract? Does that mean he will ball out this year, the final of his current deal? Or has he become too content with all the cash?

The Mets can't even sell a team in a clean, quick way. The stroke of a pen, a dais and a grip-and-grin between billionaires seems to be the customary way to sell professional sports franchises. But the Mets are on this odd layaway plan, with Steve Cohen owning the club in 2025. 

Not every story stands on its own. And it doesn't help the Mets that the only newsworthy athlete associated with our NFL clubs is Darrelle Revis. It doesn't help that the Knicks are dead by Christmas and the Nets are plunging down the rungs of relevance. It also doesn't help that the Yankees are mushrooming into a doomsday machine. 

So, on a slow day wrapped in a slow month the Mets remind us why you can follow them, or even like them, but love them at your own peril. 

You can follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonKeidel

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