Carlos Beltran technically lost the Yankees manager race to Aaron Boone, but he endorsed the team’s decision, citing Boone’s personality, baseball knowledge and family pedigree.
“He’s going to do a good job for them, definitely,” Beltran, a former Met and Yankee, said on Tuesday at Barclays Center before accepting the Hope Award from Sports Illustrated for his work in his native Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
“I personally know him and I wish him the best. I just hope he puts together a good group of coaches to help him out and make decisions . . . There is a high standard about being the Yankee manager. After being able to miss the World Series by one game [last season], fans are expecting a lot of positive things, which is great. It’s a good challenge for a manager.”
Like Boone, 44, Beltran, 40, has no managerial experience. Unlike Boone, he is fresh off the playing field, having retired after winning the World Series as an Astro.
Initially his plan was to take a break from baseball, but he was unable to resist an invitation to interview for the manager job. He did not get it, but he could well be offered another job in the organization.
“There’s no doubt that they showed interest in having me back in a different role,” he said. “I basically have to have a conversation with the organization and see which role they want me to be back in and see if that’s something I really want to do after I just retired from the game.”
Beltran said the interview itself was enjoyable, educational — and lengthy.
“It was a fun one,” he said. “I really enjoyed it. It was a long process. I got there at 10 in the morning and we finished like at 5:30 p.m. Long day, but it was all baseball. It was fun.”
Beltran said he was not intimidated by the situation, nor would he have been by the job.
“I feel very comfortable talking about baseball,” he said. “This is something that I’ve been doing for 20 years, so I have been through different scenarios, I have played with different teams, I have seen a lot of baseball, different organizations, different mentalities.
“For me that meeting was being able to express my desire to be the manager but at the same time my desire to be able to impact the guys and make some changes or maybe implement some things to motivate the players to play at a higher level.
“I was surprised [to get the interview], but at the same time it was something that I’ve been working for for 20 years. I have been able to do things the right way in the game, and that’s something that you don’t do in one or two years. It’s something you do in a long, long time. They know my passion for the game. They were able to see me when I played with the Yankees working with the younger guys trying to help them out.”