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Sign-stealing scandal claims Beltran

NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltran, called out on a curveball again.

So for the second time since they last threw a pitch, the New York Mets are in the market for a new manager.

Sign of the times.

Beltran’s 2 1/2-month tenure as Mets manager ended Thursday before he spent a single game on the bench, the latest fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball.

The Mets announced the decision in a news release, saying Beltran and the team “agreed to mutually part ways.” The move came two days after Boston cut ties with manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 when Beltran played for the Astros.

A day before that, manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired by Houston soon after they were suspended for the 2020 season by Commissioner Rob Manfred for their roles in the cheating scheme.

Next to fall was Beltran, the only Astros player mentioned by name Monday when MLB issued its findings from an investigation into the club’s conduct. No players were disciplined, but the nine-page report said Beltran was among the group involved in the team’s illicit use of electronics to pilfer signs during Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship.

“Over my 20 years in the game, I’ve always taken pride in being a leader and doing things the right way, and in this situation, I failed,” Beltran said in a statement issued through agent Dan Lozano.

“As a veteran player on the team, I should’ve recognized the severity of the issue and truly regret the actions that were taken. I am a man of faith and integrity and what took place did not demonstrate those characteristics that are so very important to me and my family. I’m very sorry. It’s not who I am as a father, a husband, a teammate and as an educator. … I hope that at some point in time, I’ll have the opportunity to return to this game that I love so much.”

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon met with MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem and Bryan Seeley, who headed the investigation, on Wednesday morning in New York, then with Beltran at the team’s spring training complex in Florida on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

“Considering the circumstances, it became clear to all parties that it was not in anyone’s best interest for Carlos to move forward as manager of the New York Mets,” Van Wagenen and Wilpon said in a statement.