The New York Mets introduced Carlos Beltran as the in a press conference at Citi Field on Monday. Both Beltran and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen took questions from the media after an introduction. One of the questions that came up was about someone the Mets didn't hire: Joe Girardi.
Seen as a strong candidate for the job in Queens, Girardi instead landed in Philadelphia with one of the Mets' division rivals. Van Wagenen explained why he and the franchise preferred Beltran, a first-time manager, over the former Yankees skipper.
"Ultimately, it was Carlos' strengths that won the day," Van Wagenen said. "It was less about where other candidates fell short, and much more, specially about what Carlos' leadership brings to the team and the organization."
Van Wagenen elaborated on the decision to pass on Girardi with Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
Looking for why Girardi is not #Mets manager? Van Wagenen mentioned being able to “exhale” when go into mgr office rather than “inhale” in weariness. Said of Beltran that he has “appetite to collaborate.” Became clear in process that BVW did not feel connection with Girardi.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 4, 2019
Girardi, an experienced manager and one familiar with the New York landscape, spent two years as an analyst with MLB Network after he was let go by the Yankees in 2017. But the former major league catcher always made his interest in returning to a major league dugout clear. In October, the Phillies announced that Girardi would succeed Gabe Kapler as the club's new manager.
Van Wagenen seemed to indicate that Girardi would not be collaborative with the front office. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner both citedas one of the reasons for choosing not to bring him back.
Beltran succeeds Mickey Callaway as the Mets' 22nd manager and the ninth manager in franchise history to both play for and manage the Mets. He joins Yogi Berra, Bobby Valentine, Joe Torre, Gil Hodges, Bud Harrelson, Roy McMillan, Dallas Green, Willie Randolph and interim manager Mike Cubbage as people who have played for and managed the Mets. Beltran, 42, signed a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth year.
Beltran has no professional coaching experience, but he spent the past year a special adviser to Brian Cashman in the Yankees front office. He was also among the candidates for the Yankees' managerial job after Girardi was let go after the 2017 season. Beltran interviewed for the position that was eventually given to Aaron Boone.
The potential Hall of Famer retired from his playing career after winning a World Series with the Houston Astros in 2017. The outfielder and designated hitter retired with a .279 batting average with 435 home runs, 565 doubles, 312 stolen bases, 1,587 RBI and 1,582 runs scored over his 20-year career. Beltran also played for the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Yankees.