Brodie Van Wagenen Should Have Been Fired With Carlos Beltran
On Thursday, the New York Mets took the nearly unprecedented decision of firing Carlos Beltran before he met with his roster let alone managed one game. It was not only an embarrassing day for the organization, but It also overshadowed Mike Piazza being honored with 31 Piazza Drive in St. Lucie.
Somehow, Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen would make things worse, much worse.
During the ensuing conference call confirming the firing of Beltran, and yes, he clarified it was a firing discrediting the “mutually agreed” press releases, he showed how haphazardly he has handled the entire process of hiring a manager.
First and foremost, Van Wagenen claimed no previous knowledge of widespread information about the allegations about the Houston Astros cheating.
There were reports about the Astros getting caught during the 2018 ALCS. There were rumors throughout the game long before that. However, Van Wagenen who represented players like Nori Aoki, who was on that Astros team says he knew nothing.
Taking him at face value, he eventually knew about it because of Mike Fiers statements confirming the sign stealing. Subsequently, there was a report in The Athletic specifically implicating Beltran. Knowing that, Van Wagenen said he still did not inquire further with Beltran.
More than that, after Fiers public statements, the MLB investigation, and various reports, Van Wagenen traded for Beltran’s former teammate Jake Marisnick.
Van Wagenen said in the conference call he did not speak with Beltran or Marisnick about the investigation, and he did nothing to brace the organization for the potential situation where he may have to fire his manager.
Taking Van Wagenen at face value, he ignored prevalent information, and he purposefully left the organization ill prepared for what they eventually did in firing Beltran.
Of course, much of this does not pass the smell test. That goes double when you consider he is good friends with former Astros manager AJ Hinch.
As an aside, during the conference call, Van Wagenen admitted to speaking with Hinch, which based on when it happened, may have been in violation of Major League Baseball’s rulings.
Van Wagenen has painted himself as someone who either didn’t know or didn’t want to know. That is something entirely unacceptable from a team’s general manager. That goes double when it happens in the course of the hiring of your manager who is a team’s most public representative.
Simply put, what happened with the Mets can’t happen.
They can’t have a GM unaware of widely held information. They can’t have a GM who does nothing to be proactive. It’s even worse when he has the means and connections to do it.
Thursday was as bad a day as it got for the Mets. In addition to the embarrassment of firing Beltran and overshadowing the team honoring Piazza, their employee, Jessica Mendoza, attacked Fiers for being a whistleblower. It should be noted Mendoza was hired by Van Wagenen.
Keep in mind, this was the latest embarrassing day under Van Wagenen’s tenure, and it was another day when Van Wagenen seemed incapable of handling bad situations.
When Mickey Callaway screamed at a reporter and Jason Vargas threatened the reporter, no team suspensions were issued. It took multiple times to get Callaway to apologize, and Vargas’ apology was never forthcoming.
While some have tried to paint the picture as it was an isolated incident with Jacob deGrom, it wasn’t. It happened on multiple occasions. When you look at Van Wagenen’s tenure, he’s already broken MLB rules, and he hired a manager who had broken rules.
Even putting aside what suspicion could arise from that, he has shown he’s not up to the job of being the general manager of the Mets.
In his short tenure, he got the Mets wrapped up into a scandal where his team was not being investigated or implicated in any wrongdoing. He has been ill prepared to handle problems which have arisen with his team, has broken MLB rules, and behind closed doors, he is throwing chairs.
Before you even address his poor player decisions, Van Wagenen has shown himself to be unaware of what has been happening in baseball and has made the Mets ill equipped and ill prepared to handle situations which the team should have seen coming.
Remember, Beltran was purportedly Van Wagenen’s hire, and his failure to conduct the NEEDED vetting before, during, and after embarrassed the organization and led to Beltran’s firing. Seeing Van Wagenen’s tenure and conduct, he should have followed Beltran out the door.