Carlos Beltran, Brodie Van Wagenen, Jeff Wilpon
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Through personal experience and a world of leadership talent, Carlos Beltran is the right man at the right time for the New York Mets. 

QUEENS, NY—When the New York Mets announced that they would explore all corners of the baseball world for their next manager, most of the so-called experts snickered and poked fun at the process. But, truth be told, most companies should be taking notes on how the Mets conducted their search when they are attempting to fill key positions in any organization.

There is no question that talent is a key component in finding the right person; but far too often, chemistry fit is ignored and Brodie Van Wagenen took the necessary steps to ensure that was not overlooked.

I have known Carlos Beltran for close to 15 years as I covered him from day No. 1 as a Met player, and his communication skills are awesome. This is something only personal experience can truly convey. In his first spring training as a Met, I made the time to get to know him, and I must say, I learned so much about both baseball and life from the man. Most importantly, his words were only a tip of the iceberg as his actions never wavered when faced with tough questions.

I also had so many great conversations with him about the game of baseball and he readily understood this sport is about a collection of players, not one superstar. Moreover, he understands the idea that talent fits dictate success, because in a long season, there are so many ups and downs and great chemistry can help in stabilizing those moments.

In the press conference at Citi Field on Monday, the concept of communication was mentioned numerous times and I can personally tell you Carlos Beltran is a great communicator. He readily understands there can’t just be talking in a conversation—listening skills help move a conversation along and make problem-solving a much more fluid process.

But I also learned he truly cares about others. While he was a player with the Mets, I was going through family health issues with my Dad and he gave me such great advice. While he was suffering through dementia, he urged me to embrace each moment with him while never shying away from emotion.

I was just another reporter’s face in the crowd, but he cared enough to converse with me about the issues I was facing. You just don’t find that level of leadership on every street corner and it is a skill that will help him reach every player in every corner of the Met clubhouse.

There are players on this Mets team that underperformed in 2019 due to a number of issues, but it is my firm belief that Beltran will reach them in a way that will play to their strengths each and every day. The Mets will need to make some tough decisions over the next few months and I do believe both Beltran and Brodie Van Wagenen will have an absolutely open dialogue about those moves. The duo already possesses the chemistry that will allow the proper amount of time listening to each other.

This is a team coming off an 86-win season that will likely have both the reigning Rookie of the Year and Cy Young-award winner on their roster, as well as a mixture of veteran and young players. And I can guarantee you that every single one of them will benefit from the leadership of Carlos Beltran—a certain Hall of Famer.

It’s also important to note that the process the Mets took was the proper path in choosing the right man for the job. Yes, no managerial experience is something that had to be considered, but if Terry Collins becomes the bench coach, that will instantly solve that problem as Beltran respects him and vice versa.

The best thing I can say about these two men is, if I had a son who became a major league player, I would entrust his career to that duo. Not only would they improve as players, but they would become both great teammates and better people.

The first move of the offseason for the Mets is a rousing success. Yes, there is still work to do, but Carlos Beltran would have been my first choice for this position and I am saying that with all due respect to Joe Girardi, who quite frankly would have been my second choice even if he was still available.

Carlos Beltran, the familiar No. 15, is the right man at the right time for the New York Mets managerial position.

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