Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran celebrate beating the...

Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran celebrate beating the Yankees to win the ALCS in 2017.  Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Mets fired Carlos Beltran before he even managed a game, after only 77 days on the job, because of his role in the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing scandal. But in the midst of Thursday’s marathon apology session, Carlos Correa stood up for Beltran, insisting that he was getting an unfair share of the blame.

Just this week, The Athletic reported that Beltran “steamrolled” the Astros into going along with his scheme. He also was referred to as “The Godfather” for his intimidating influence over the roster, including the younger, more impressionable players. As a result, Beltran has been painted as the mastermind, overshadowing his teammates’ complicity, but Correa refused to pass the buck.

“We didn’t feel intimidated, we didn’t feel scared of Beltran,” he said. “He was the nicest guy and he was the best teammate I’ve ever had. Beltran was the leader of the clubhouse, but we all had a say in everything that we’re doing in there. And, you know, whatever he said and whatever we’re doing, we had the chance to stop it as a team. Everybody had a chance to say something. And we didn’t.”

Correa credited Beltran for being a mentor on the ’17 Astros. He sounded irritated that people have been piling on him, especially after he already had been fired by the Mets.

“You can talk to every single guy that was here in 2017,” Correa said. “Beltran is a straight-up gentleman and nobody — not even you guys — would feel intimidated by his presence, by his leadership and whatever he has to say. He showed us how to play baseball hard. He was inspiring. Whenever we were slumping, he was there for us. So I don’t see a person that is your mentor and is there for you when you’re struggling as an intimidating person.”

Beltran initially denied that he did anything illegal with the Astros, but he was featured prominently in the commissioner’s January report on the scandal and was the only player mentioned by name (Alex Cora was the Houston bench coach at the time).

The Mets fired Beltran three days after Rob Manfred released the findings of his investigation.

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