Mets de­cide to hire Bel­trán as manager

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Mike Fitz­patrick AP Base­ball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) >> Car­los Bel­trán, two years re­moved from his play­ing ca­reer and with no man­age­rial ex­pe­ri­ence, has been picked by the New York Mets to re­place Mickey Call­away.

A per­son fa­mil­iar with the Mets’ de­ci­sion told The As­so­ci­ated

Press about it Fri­day. The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the team has not made an an­nounce­ment.

A nine-time All-Star dur­ing 20 ma­jor league sea­sons, Bel­trán played for the Mets from 2005-11.

He in­ter­viewed to be­come New York Yan­kees manager after the 2017 sea­son, when

Aaron Boone was hired, and spent this sea­son as an ad­viser to Yan­kees gen­eral manager Brian Cash­man.

“At the be­gin­ning it’s a lit­tle bit over­whelm­ing. There’s a lot of in­for­ma­tion that you have to di­gest,” Bel­tran said after he was in­ter­viewed by the Yan­kees two years ago. “Be­ing a player and be­ing able

to play this game for such a long time, I have seen a lot, and I have seen the im­por­tance of what players need in the club­house.”

The 42-year-old Bel­trán be­comes the first mi­nor­ity to fill one of the eight ma­jor league manager va­can­cies this off­sea­son. Those jobs filled are: the Chicago Cubs (David Ross), Kansas City (Mike Ma­theny), the Los Angeles An­gels (Joe Mad­don), Philadel­phia (Joe Gi­rardi) and San Diego (Jayce Tin­gler). Pitts­burgh and San Fran­cisco re­main open.

Call­away was hired by then-gen­eral manager Sandy Alder­son and led New York to a dis­ap­point­ing 77-85 record in his first sea­son. Brodie Van Wa­ge­nen re­placed Alder­son as GM and pro­claimed the Mets fa­vorite to win the NL East. But New York fell to 41-51 with a loss in its first game fol­low­ing the All-Star break and could climb only to the pe­riph­ery of the wild­card race be­fore fin­ish­ing 86-76, third in the divi­sion be­hind At­lanta and World

Se­ries cham­pion Wash­ing­ton.

Bel­trán will be the fourth of the cur­rent man­agers born in Puerto Rico, join­ing Bos­ton’s Alex Cora, Toronto’s Char­lie Mon­toyo and Wash­ing­ton’s Dave Martinez.

He signed a $119 mil­lion, seven-year con­tract with the Mets in Jan­uary 2005 and helped them win the NL East in 2006, but he took a called third strike with the bases loaded against Adam Wain­wright, end­ing New York’s 3-1 loss to St. Louis in Game 7 of the 2006 NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

Bel­trán got into a flap with Mets man­age­ment in Jan­uary 2010 when he had surgery on his right knee with­out their ap­proval. Bel­trán went to Colorado to be ex­am­ined by Dr. Richard Stead­man, who op­er­ated. As­sis­tant gen­eral manager John Ricco said at the time the team wanted to dis­cuss Stead­man’s di­ag­no­sis and pos­si­bly seek a third opin­ion but was never given the op­por­tu­nity.

With New York out of con­tention in 2011, the Mets traded Bel­trán to San Fran­cisco that July for pitcher Zack Wheeler.

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

FILE - In this Fri­day, May 23, 2008 file photo, New York Mets out­fielder Car­los Bel­tran waits to bat be­fore fac­ing the Colorado Rock­ies in the first in­ning of a base­ball game in Den­ver.

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