STAMFORD, Conn. — Aaron Boone and Hensley Meulens are both intriguing candidates in their own right — easily deserving of top-2 consideration for the Yankees’ managerial vacancy, as colleague Bill Madden first reported Friday.
But the fans wanted Carlos Beltran, and he really did feel like a Home Run hire for the position given all the tools in his toolbox.
In the end, though, Beltran, 40, and Rob Thomson were both informed that they were out of the running.
It wasn’t necessarily a surprise that Beltran was eliminated, as he had no previous managerial or coaching experience and had literally just retired. Even Beltran himself was surprised he was asked to interview this soon after hanging up his spikes.
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Still, he definitely merits some sort of position in the organization — whether it be as a coach on the staff or a trusted advisor in the front office.
And the bet is that will happen given his strong relationship with Brian Cashman.
The idea of Beltran managing, which the fanbase loved based on their Twitter reactions, was only enhanced by endorsements from CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez, who felt like the potential future Hall of Famer could make a quick transition.
After all, he checked all the other boxes besides experience.
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He’s a strong communicator, and was a leader both on and off the field during his playing days. He understands today’s clubhouse culture, while also possessing the ability to speak both English and Spanish, which would continue to make him a great mentor to the influx of Latin players wearing pinstripes.
He’s also succeeded at the highest level while playing and dealing with the media in New York. Plus, you can bet he’d be a significant asset in any free-agent recruiting process.
“I don’t want to be a manager that just comes to the ballpark and waits for the game to start,” said Beltran, who was thought to be very impressive in his interview with team brass. “I want to be a proactive manager that interacts with the players and is always bringing something to the table for them.”
Aaron Judge, the team’s franchise player, has referred to how much Beltran helped him in getting acclimated to the majors dating back to spring training in 2016.
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“He’s a guy, the future of the organization, and I feel like I’ll help him,” Beltran said before Judge morphed into a 52-homer monster at the plate. “When I was growing up and in the big leagues the first year, I had some veteran guys who took care of me, helped me, along the way.
“The game of baseball is not about what you can do for yourself – I know what I can do for me – but about trying to impact younger guys. I take pride in that.”
Late in his career, Beltran found himself DH’ing more and seeing the game from a different angle on the bench, while essentially serving as a player-coach. You can imagine the daily impact he could have on guys like Judge, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres.
Cashman had just decided to change managers after Joe Girardi led the team within a win of the World Series, so the idea of bringing on Beltran as his replacement didn’t necessarily seem that far-fetched.
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Especially with Beltran knowing he’d need an experienced bench coach while saying he’d embrace analytics, a significant part of the Yankees’ strategy these days.
In the end, though, it wasn’t to be.
And so it will be Boone, who Cashman has been highly intrigued with, and Meulens, the believed eventual successor to Bruce Bochy who speaks five languages, for the job.
With the hope that the Bombers ask Beltran to stick around.
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