New details in Astros cheating scandal put Carlos Beltran's legacy in jeopardy

New details have emerged in the infamous Houston Astros cheating scandal and they place a lot of blame on Carlos Beltran, who already lost his job as New York Mets manager and now could see his Hall of Fame case in jeopardy.

A story published Tuesday by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich cast Beltran as the central figure in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme with unchecked power (even by his own manager), mafia-style nicknames and the gusto to “steamroll” past anyone who wasn’t on board with the cheating.

From The Athletic:

[I]t was Beltrán who, according to multiple sources, told the Astros that their sign-stealing methods were “behind the times.”

During the season, small groups of Astros discussed their misgivings. McCann at one point approached Beltrán and asked him to stop, two members of the 2017 team said.

“He disregarded it and steamrolled everybody,” one of the team members said. “Where do you go if you’re a young, impressionable player with the Astros and this guy says, ‘We’re doing this’? What do you do?”

Beltran and Alex Cora were singled out in MLB’s investigation as two of the main forces behind the Astros’ scheme, which used a camera in centerfield to relay live signs into the Astros dugout. Houston players would then use a nearby trash can to signal to hitters in real-time if a breaking ball was coming.

28 PHOTOS
Carlos Beltran through the years
See Gallery
Carlos Beltran through the years
26 Feb 1998: Carlos Beltran #70 of the Kansas City Royals poses for a portrait during Spring Training at the Baseball City Stadium in Davenport, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Craig Melvin /Allsport
4 Mar 1998: Carlos Beltran of the Kansas City Royals in action during a spring training game against the Cleveland Indians at the Baseball City Stadium in Davenport, Florida. The Royals defeated the Indians 11-10.
8 Apr 2000: Carlos Beltran #15 of the Kansas City Royals sprints to a base during the game against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals defeated the Twins 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport
CHICAGO - AUGUST 6: Center fielder Carlos Beltran #15 of the Kansas City Royals is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox during the game on August 6, 2003 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Royals 4-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran smiles as he walks up to the batters box for his first at-bat as an Astro in a game against the Texas Rangers, Friday, June 25, 2004, in Arlington, Texas. Beltran, who was traded Thursday from Kansas City, reached first on an infield hit off Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran, left, is congratulated by Craig Biggio, right, after Beltran hit a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds' relief pitcher Gabe White in the ninth inning, Saturday, July 31, 2004, in Cincinnati. The Astros won, 8-0. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)
Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran is congratulated by on-deck batter Jeff Bagwell after hitting a home run in the fifth innning against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aaron Harang in Cincinnati Tuesday Aug. 31, 2004. Bagwell and Lance Berkman followed with solo home runs. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)
Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran smiles as he waits for his turn in the batting cage during team practice in Houston Friday, Oct. 15, 2004. Game 3 of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Astros is Saturday. The Cardinals lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0. (AP Photo
New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, Mets general manager Omar Minaya, center, and Mets shortstop Jose Reye pose for photographers, Thursday, Sept. 29., 2005, in the midtown Manhattan studios of SportsNew New York, at the debut of the new regional sports network. SNY is backed by Time Warner, Comcast and Sterling Entertainment Enterprises. The network will telecast up to 125 regular season Mets games in 2006. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York Mets Carlos Beltran, left, congratulates teammate Jose Reyes, right, as Reyes heads back to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb in the fifth inning Monday, Aug. 22, 2005, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)
New York Mets' Carlos Beltran tosses his bat towards the dugout after lining out to Cincinnati Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007, in Cincinnati. Cincinnat won 7-0. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, right, jumps for joy after New York Mets batter Carlos Beltran struck out to end Game 7 of baseball's National League Championship Series, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2006, at Shea Stadium in New York. The Cardinals won 3-1 to advance to the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Erick Cruz, left, watches as Scott Sellman gets an autograph from National League's Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets before the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Phoenix. MLB and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have been arranging All-Star programs since 2003. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
San Francisco Giants' Carlos Beltran laughs during a news conference before a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, July 28, 2011, in Philadelphia. The defending World Series champion Giants completed a trade Thursday to acquire the All-Star outfielder and cash from the New York Mets, upgrading their inconsistent offense. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
San Francisco Giants' Carlos Beltran, left, laughs as manager Bruce Bochy speaks during a news conference before a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, July 28, 2011, in Philadelphia. The defending World Series champion Giants completed a trade Thursday to acquire the All-Star outfielder and cash from the New York Mets, upgrading their inconsistent offense. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
San Francisco Giants right fielder Carlos Beltran (15), from left, manager Bruce Bochy and batting coach Hensley Meulens against the San Diego Padres in a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran talks to reporters before Game 4 of baseball's National League championship series against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran reacts after striking out during the first inning of Game 6 of baseball's National League championship series against the San Francisco Giants Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Carlos Beltrán sonríe durante una conferencia de prensa realizada el viernes 20 de diciembre de 2013 en el Yankee Stadium, en Nueva York. El jardinero firmó con los Yanquis un contrato por tres años y 45 millones de dólares. (Foto AP/John Minchillo)
Carlos Beltrán de los Yanquis de Nueva York tras batear un jonrón en el segundo inning ante los Rojos de Cincinnati el sábado 19 de julio de 2014. (AP Foto/Julio Cortez)
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, walks with Yankees' Carlos Beltran, right, during early batting practice, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Seattle before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
New York Yankees Carlos Beltran hits a second-inning, solo home run off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rich Hill in a baseball game in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Texas Rangers' Carlos Beltran watches his solo home run off Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Andriese during the third inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Texas Rangers' Carlos Beltran, center is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run off of Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Andriese during the third inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, Houston Astros' Justin Verlander, right, and Carlos Beltran celebrate the team's win over the Seattle Mariners to clinch the AL West crown in a baseball game in Houston. Beltran is retiring after winning his first World Series title in his 20th major league season. The 40-year-old made the announcement Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 12 days after the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)
Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran runs to first after hitting a single during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran exits the batting cage during practice for baseball's American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Houston. The Astros face the Boston Red Sox Thursday in Game 1 of the ALDS. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, outfielder Carlos Beltran smiles during a news conference to announce his signing a one-year contract with the Houston Astros, in Houston. Beltran is retiring after winning his first World Series title in his 20th major league season. The 40-year-old made the announcement Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 12 days after the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Cora was the Astros’ bench coach at the time, the right-hand man to manager A.J. Hinch. Beltran was in the final year of his 20-year MLB career. Being implicated in MLB’s report cost both of them their jobs. Cora was the Red Sox manager and Beltran had just been hired as Mets manager.

Of Beltran’s power in the Houston clubhouse, The Athletic wrote:

Beltrán’s sway over the clubhouse, however, helps explain the inaction of Hinch and his other coaches and players, even as some who were there say they felt conflicted about the team’s misconduct. The reluctance of anyone in uniform to challenge Beltrán spoke to the power of the accomplished veteran in the sport’s political pecking order...

Members of the 2017 Astros use various terms to describe Beltrán — El Jefe, the Godfather, the king, the alpha male in the building. Beltrán was 40 that season, capping off a 20-year career, seeking to add to his Hall of Fame resumé. No other person in the Astros’ clubhouse carried the same stature, including McCann, who was 33 that season and a less accomplished player.

The latest reporting from The Athletic indicates the Mets were wise to distance themselves from Beltran immediately following MLB’s report. It’s also fair to wonder whether Beltran’s legacy in MLB could face the same kind of scrutiny as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Pete Rose as one of the game’s most polarizing figures.

The difference between Cora and Beltran in this particular instance? The Hall of Fame.

Cora was not close to being a Cooperstown-worthy player, but Beltran had at least a very good Hall of Fame case before this scandal. In 2017, as the Astros closed out the World Series and Beltran hinted at retirement, it was widely written about how Beltran finally winning a World Series after 20 years would help his Hall of Fame case. He’ll be considered by voters starting in 2023.

Now, it sounds like Beltran was willing to go further than most in 2017 to get that long-awaited World Series ring.

Read Full Story