A new era with a familiar face officially began on Monday morning.
Carlos Beltran returned home as he was introduced as the 22nd manager in the history of the New York Mets.
The 42-year-old, who spent seven years with the organization as a star center fielder, was hired on Friday after a month-long search following the dismissal of Mickey Callaway.
“I’m very blessed to be standing up here in front of you guys as the new manager of the New York Mets,” Beltran said. “I’m a little overwhelmed by this opportunity, but at the same time, I’m excited.”
This will be Beltran’s first managing gig at the MLB level after spending last season as an adviser with the crosstown-rival Yankees as he beat out the likes of experienced names such as Joe Girardi — who was hired by the Phillies — and Buck Showalter along with newcomers like Eduardo Perez, Derek Shelton, and Tim Bogar.
“It was Carlos’ strengths that won the day,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said when asked about his decision to pass on Girardi.
“I know it took a while, but we were detailed and wanted to make sure we got this right.”
The second-year GM also highlighted a five-point system exuded by Beltran that won over Mets brass during the interview process:
“Carlos can command a room when he walks in. He has a presence, he has patience.”
“When we began this process, it was important… to feel like we could exhale when we walked into the manager’s office,” Van Wagenen said. “We wanted to feel comfortable, we wanted to feel welcomed… we can trust Carlos.”
3. Growth mindset
“Carlos is a learner. He knows what he doesn’t know and he’s willing to acknowledge it.”
4. Commitment to winning
“Carlos is committed to beating his opponent. Why do I say that? Everyone wants to win, there’s no doubt about that,” Van Wagenen said. “He takes it a step further. Carlos wants to beat his opponent. He looks for the little things. He looks for tips… anything to exploit.”
5. Understanding of players
“Carlos’ hiring is a signal and an affirmation that is clear and loud to this organization’s core tenants of being a players-first organization. Carlos Beltran will be a player’s manager.”
Beltran will be taking over a Mets team that holds plenty of promise with a young core of hitters and a starting rotation that could be one of the best in the National League.
“We have a good ball club,” Beltran said. “There’s no doubt we have to work hard in spring training and focus on areas we didn’t play well in last year… I’m happy with the players we have and the pitchers we have so it’s going to be a fun year.”
He now has his chance to put this organization over the top for the first time since 1986, which he came so close to doing as a player in 2006 when his Mets fell in seven games to the Cardinals in the NLCS.
“Thank you for believing in me,” Beltran said. “I can’t wait to re-write our story being the manager of the New York Mets.”