The return of Carlos Beltran to the New York Mets as the team’s new skipper has given many depressed local sports fans a hopeful glimmer towards a spring awakening.
The former outfielder inherits a team that’s more recent memory has been ached with blunders, injuries, and many disappointing Octobers spent on golf courses rather than at Citi Field.
“I just can’t wait to rewrite our story,” Beltran said after being introduced by Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen on Monday, Nov. 4, at Citi Field.
Beltran, who won a World Series with the Houston Astros in 2017, signed a three-year Mets contract with no prior managerial experience — but that doesn’t seem to bother the GM.
“We can trust Carlos,” Van Wagenen said, mentioning that Beltran’s “growth mindset” put the ex-outfielder over the edge as a managerial candidate to replace Mickey Callaway, who yielded two less-than-amazin’ seasons in Queens.
“The decision wasn’t easy,” the general manager conceded in response to criticism that the Mets should have went after a more seasoned candidate, such as the rival Phillies’ new manager Joe Girardi.
“(Beltran) has life experience,” Van Wagenen said. “Carlos Beltran will be a players manager.”
Beltran also acknowledged that his rookie managerial season will come with a learning curve, too.
“There’s no doubt there’s things that I need to grow,” he said.
Regardless, Beltran now assumes a unique role of the new kid who’s back on his old block — where he was a standout player from 2005-11, although many Mets fans only remember him taking the called third strike as the final out in the 2006 National League Championship Series.
The new manager also expressed optimism towards the 2020 season and even the team’s returning bullpen.
“I think we have a good ball club,” Beltran said, noting that he’ll be using the spring to focus on the team’s many weaknesses from the 2019 season.
Beltran had been working as a special advisor to the Yankees, where he had played between 2014 and 2016 before taking the Mets job.
Wearing his old number 15 for the Mets, Beltran now joins the ranks of Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Dallas Green and Willie Randolph as former Yankees to become a manager of the Mets.