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Beltran: 2017 Astros “crossed the line”

Carlos Beltran acknowledges that the 2017 Houston Astros “crossed the line” with their sign stealing scheme

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Houston Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Carlos Beltran, the purported ringleader among the 2017 Houston Astros players in the team’s sign stealing scheme, acknowledged that the team “crossed the line” in its actions in an interview that is set to air tomorrow.

Beltran says, in the transcript excerpts that have been released, that “[l]ooking back today, we were wrong,” but also notes that no one higher up in the organization told them to stop the sign stealing scheme, suggesting that those in charge knew that it was working, and were happy to keep silent and allow it to continue.

Beltran, who retired after the 2017 season, was described in a 2020 article by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich as being instrumental in implementing the plan, saying that as “a highly respected veteran with a Hall-of-Fame resume . . . his voice functionally prevailed over all others.” He and bench coach Alex Cora are described in the article as “a driving force behind the trash-can banging system” the team utilized that year.

2017 is, of course, the one year that the Houston Astros won the World Series, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

Beltran cooperated in MLB’s investigation into the sign stealing scheme, and MLB promised amnesty for all players who cooperated. However, as Beltran notes in the interview, he was the only player mentioned in MLB’s report. That may be because Beltran was retired at that point, but his being singled out in that way is notable.

Beltran received no official punishment for his role in the scandal, but once the report dropped in January, 2020, Beltran opted to step down as manager of the New York Mets, a position he had taken just months earlier.

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow each received year long suspensions for their role in the scandal, and the Astros immediately fired both. Hinch was hired as the manager of the Detroit Tigers once his suspension was up. Luhnow, on the other hand, sued the Astros over his firing, though the suit was resolved in February, 2021. Luhnow has not worked for an MLB team since being fired by the Astros, and it is doubtful he ever will again.

Alex Cora, who managed the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and 2019, also received a year long suspension. He was re-hired by Boston after his suspension expired.

I am looking forward to checking out the full interview with Beltran — the first he has given since stepping down as Mets manager — when it airs tomorrow.