New York Mets' Marcus Stroman comes to defense of Carlos Beltran amid sign-stealing scandal

New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran is having a rocky start to his coaching tenure with the organization having been accused of being a key player in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

Marcus Stroman, who the Mets acquired at the trade deadline last season, has emerged as Beltran’s biggest defender from social media trolls as Major League Baseball investigates the Astros situation. The pitcher tweeted Tuesday he had talked to Beltran on the phone and was excited for 2020.

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The Twitter trolls quickly came after Stroman and Beltran after the tweet, but the pitcher downplayed any “negative talk” of Beltran. He also called him a legend.

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“No time for any negative talk of my new manager. Thankful for him. Historical legend in the game of baseball. The depth of knowledge he possess[es] is insurmountable. It’s an honor for me to compete for this man. Hall of Famer. One of the best to ever do it. Crazy excited for 2020!” Stroman tweeted.

Beltran, and current Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, were alleged to have had “key roles” in coming up the sophisticated system the Astros used to allegedly steal signs during the 2017, according to The Athletic. Beltran was a designated hitter at that time and Cora was the team’s bench coach.

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Beltran told the New York Post he was not aware that Houston had a camera positioned in centerfield which relayed catchers’ signs to a television in the clubhouse.

“I’m not aware of that camera,” Beltran said. “We were studying the opposite team every day. We took a lot of pride studying pitchers [on] the computer. That is the only technology that I use and understand…It was fun seeing guys get to the ballpark to look for little details."

He added: “[In] the game of baseball, guys for years have given location and if the catchers get lazy and the pitcher doesn’t cover the signs from second base, of course players are going to take advantage. I don’t call that cheating. I call that using the small details to take advantage. I think baseball is doing a great job adding new technology to make sure the game is even for both teams.”

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Major League Baseball was still investigating the allegations. Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hoped to have the probe wrapped up before the start of the 2020 season.