Carlos Beltrán speaks about sign stealing

Of interest.

Carlos Beltrán, the venerated designated hitter painted by Major League Baseball as a ringleader of Houston’s electronic sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season, said this week he “wished somebody would’ve said something” and stopped the trashcan banging scheme.

In an interview with YES Network broadcaster Michael Kay, who doubles as the television voice of the New York Yankees, Beltrán said the Astros’ World Series championship has a stain and tried to direct blame to Houston’s front office for a scheme the league deemed “player driven.”

“Nobody said anything to us, you know, nobody said anything,” Beltran said. “I wish somebody would’ve said something. A lot of people always ask me why you didn’t stop it? And my answer is, I didn’t stop it the same way no one stopped it.”

“This is working for us. Why you gonna stop something that is working for you? So, if the organization would’ve said something to us, we would’ve stopped it for sure.”

Beltrán said Astros players never received commissioner Rob Manfred’s edict in mid-2017 that cracked down on electronic sign-stealing and promised harsh punishments for teams that broke rules.

Beltrán was the only player cited by name in Manfred’s report detailing the league’s findings into the Astros’ scheme. He took issue with the distinction in his remarks with Kay, which will be aired in full on Monday at 3 p.m. CT on the YES Network. Excerpts of the interview were released on Sunday morning.

“The part that bothered me about that is that, you know, when I sit down to cooperate with them (MLB), they said to me, “We’re not going against the players. We’re going against …field personnel, front office and organization,’” Beltrán said. “And the fact that I’m the only player named in that report? So how … that happen? Like, that’s the part that I don’t understand. Everyone gets immunity except Carlos Beltrán? I don’t get it.”

On the one hand, it makes sense for Beltrán to put blame on the Astros’ front office for not stepping in to stop the banging scheme. MLB put the blame on the manager and coaches and the front office as well, which is why Jeff Luhnow is an ex-GM. On the other hand, Beltrán was a full-grown adult who certainly should have known that what they were doing was against the rules, and that whether it worked or not it would reflect poorly on them all. You can say it didn’t help much – others have made that claim, but Beltrán is contradicting them – and you can say the Astros would have won the World Series in 2017 regardless – I for one believe that to be true, whatever Yankees GM Brian Cashman may say. But that almost makes it worse. You were the best team on the field, you knew you were the best team on the field, so why put all that energy into something shady? Just go out there and beat ’em.

The main thing I take away from this is that it’s going to be a long time before we’re done with the banging scheme. It’s such a shame, because the 2017 Astros were a great team, and it was a huge boost for the city a couple of months after Hurricane Harvey. We’d all be so much better off if they’d never done this, whatever the effect might have been. Sean Pendergast has more.

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6 Responses to Carlos Beltrán speaks about sign stealing

  1. C.L. says:

    “I wish somebody would’ve said something.”

    Wow, Carlos, that’s rich. You and your (not even high-n-mighty) peeps didn’t say anything about the cheating nor ended it’s practice internally because no one told you cheating was wrong ?

    I attended the WSeries parade downtown, but the more I hear past and present players excuse their 2017 and on behavior, the more the whole escapade leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and heart.

  2. Frederick says:

    Cheating cheaters…the Astros are dead to me until everyone associated with the illegitimate 2017 WS win is no longer a part of the team, from owners to players to the field personnel.

    Beltran’s whining is hilarious.

  3. C.L. says:

    Gonna be hard for the Baseball Writers to vote ‘ole Carlos into the MLB HoF in 2023 (and thereafter) if/as he’s carrying the cheater stink with him.

  4. Flypusher says:

    “I wish somebody would’ve said something.”

    Oh STFU Carlos. Nothing was preventing YOU from saying something, especially since you were brought back in the role of being a mentor and a role model to the young ones. I had a bad opinion of you after your first stint with the ‘Stros, not because you left for the Mets (as was your right as a free agent), but because you didn’t negotiate with the Astros in good faith and strung them along. Seems like I was justified.

    I started following the Astros back in 1986, not long after I moved to Houston, and we all remember that season well. I followed them through the genesis of the KillerBs, through a team on the cusp of greatness in the early 90s, set back by an asinine trade in late ‘94 (which was essentially Derrick Bell for Ken Camminiti and Steve Findley), finally getting back into the playoffs at the end of the decade, and killing old playoff jinxes one by one until falling short of a Championship in ‘05. Even though the White Sox swept, each game was a knuckle biter decided by only 1 or 2 runs. So agonizingly close.

    Then the team was sold, and the lean years started, with 100 loss seasons. But it was obvious that the team was building for the future (as opposed to that disgraceful fire sale the Marlins did after their championship), and we could expect something special if we hung in there. And we did get something special, the best team in Astros’ history in 2017. Verlander’s 1-0 victory in game 1 against the Yankees was the stuff of legend. Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers will probably be the most suspenseful, epic, most agonizing lows, most ecstatic highs of any sporting event I will ever witness.

    Then they clinched it in a game 7 that was a bit anticlimactic, but I wasn’t complaining. I got the opportunity to participate in the victory parade, and I jumped on it. Even though it was uncharacteristically hot and humid for early November, and I was exhausted at the end of it, I was so glad I went (and still am). It was something just to soak in all the joy from hundreds of thousands of people.

    The cheating scandal broke not long after another moment of pure ecstasy, Altuve’s walk off homer against NY in game 6 if the ALCS. Since then, I cannot feel the same joy with the current incarnation of the team (although I badly wanted them to win it last year to prove they could do it honestly). I don’t fault people for ragging on the Astros for the sign stealing, unless they give Boston and New York a pass for the same thing. I also fault MLB for not punishing all 3 teams equally. I still would like to see an untarnished ring, but there probably will have to be that aforementioned turnover in personnel before I might be a passionate fan again.

  5. Linkmeister says:

    “you can say the Astros would have won the World Series in 2017 regardless – I for one believe that to be true — ”

    We Dodgers fans differ. Loudly. With extreme prejudice.

  6. Linkmeister – Fair! And understandable.

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