Carlos Beltran has long been known for his ability to recognize pitch tipping and spread the advantage through the dugout.
The Athletic recently published a report claiming the Astros used illegal equipment to steal signs during their 2017 World Series season. Furthering the report, The Athletic alleged Beltran “played a key role in devising the sign-stealing system,” which has many wondering if he could begin his Mets managing tenure with a suspension.
“I see these reports now about Beltran being suspended, for what?!” Mike Francesa asked to open his Thursday show on WFAN.
Francesa notes sign stealing is not new in baseball, but if illegal equipment was implemented by the Astros, then it’s their people of authority that should be punished, not the players.
“Whoever put it in place is responsible,” Francesa said. “If the Astros' ownership knew about it, they get hit. If the general manager knew about it, he gets it. If the manager knew about it, he gets it. That’s it. The players don’t get hit for using the equipment.”
While stealing signs has been part of baseball for over 100 years, Francesa acknowledged the Astros could get punished hard if the league confirms they used illegal equipment to receive an advantage.
“The question is not if they stole signs, the question is did they use illegal surveillance equipment. If they installed it, they get hit and they get hit hard. If it was the manager’s idea he gets hit hard, if it goes higher than that they get hit hard. Take away draft picks, fine the team, suspend the manager – all in play.”
According to Francesa, stealing signs is an overrated tactic anyway, citing Yankees Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera who threw only one pitch. Everyone knew what pitch was coming next, but they still couldn’t hit it.
“Who installed the equipment? That’s the crime, stealing signs has been going on forever.”