What If? Fallout of Latest MLB Scandal and Mets’ dismissing Carlos Beltran

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports editor and contributing writer William Coppola

“He said I/m beginning to think that baseball is fake and there is no honesty among baseball players.”

A comment above from an 11-year old Little League ballplayer as relayed to the Bronx Chronicle from his grandfather.

And that is the sentiment coming from a young person who admires ballplayers and the game of baseball, a passion for many, the American pastime. But the cheating scandal that now has cost Carlos Beltran his job as a rookie manager of the Mets puts this all in perspective.

Here is the opinion of William Coppola, a contributor to these pages and with a longtime career associated in the game. He has been a player, coach, umpire and recently a longtime scout with the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves:

Sometimes I wonder why things happen in this world. Sometimes without rhyme or reason. I also wonder what if this or that did or didn’t happen.

What if Babe Ruth continued to be a pitcher with the Red Sox instead of switching to only hitting? What would baseball be like without him becoming the one who would get everyone to forget about that devastating scandal in 1919, when the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series?

Did baseball get lucky or would they come out of that mess eventually without “The Bambino” giving fans the excitement they needed to put that mess in the rearview mirror? That’s a “What if” we will never have to worry about.

So who or what will save baseball this time? The Astros, Red Sox and now with the Mets losing Carlos Beltran before he ever got a chance to help them win a championship. Who knows who else may surface as cheaters in some form or another, in the coming months or years? 

This will set baseball back somewhat as it try’s to maintain its integrity.

Back when the “Black Sox” scandal hit, the world was in a different place. We had just won “The war to end all wars” (WWI). People were happy. Unlike today’s world, in the years following the White Sox scandal, the people in this country felt a great sense of moving forward.

The country was very much united 

Today we live in a country that is divided. People are looking to make some sense of all the turmoil in the world and our own land. I find it ironic that in a city (Washington) where our government is struggling with everything, the 2019 World Series trophy sits in Nationals Park overlooking our nations capital and no one seems to care. 

The distraction of politics and now this baseball black eye is taking away from all the excitement of a new baseball season for many of us. I only know a few people who do not have a problem with cheating but only if it benefits their team. How did we get here? When will the next bomb fall? 

Sure it is not the end of the world and there are far more important issues facing all of us in 2020 and in the future. My fear, is that we will begin to accept bad behavior as the norm and look the other way when our heroes and leaders act in a way that should be unacceptable.

From the book “The biggest lie in the history of Christianity,” author Matthew Kelly shares a story about a father and his rambunctious young son. Thinking it would keep the boy busy all day, the father took a picture in a magazine and ripped it into small pieces and said to the boy: “Here, this is a puzzle for you to put together. It is a picture of the world. See how fast you can put it back together.”

When the boy returned rather quickly with the puzzle completed the father asked him, “How did you do it so fast?” The boy replied: “When I had the pieces on the floor I saw the head of a man. I figured if I could make the man right I could make the world right.” 

So what if? What if those guilty in this fiasco admit what they did and promise to never cheat again? What if they are forgiven and no one boos them when they take the field? What if baseball comes away from all of this and solves the problem of cheating? What if the use of technology in the game gives us more excitement?

What if fans can put this in the rearview mirror like the fans did 100 years ago? What if we could make man right? What if we could make the world right? What if the moon is really made of cheese? 

This is what “What ifs” get you. Put all the what ifs in a bucket with a nickel and you know what you get? A nickel. We can’t wish for things to be right. Be it sports or politics, we have to just do it.

Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso





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