Here is a quick recap of some of the highlights of today’s conference call with the media regarding Carlos Beltran. Mets Assistant GM John Ricco conducted the call while Jay Horwitz moderated.
Burkhardt – Did Carlos Beltran do this without team permission?
Ricco - There is an issue with the process in that we told the the agent that we wanted the ability to discuss the diagnosis and possibly get a thrid opinion. We were never afforded that opportunity, and that’s the only issue.
Burkhardt - Why would Carlos do that?
Ricco - I cant speak for him… I told you all that I know…
Lennon – Did Beltran say no and just went ahead and did it? Did you have to sign off and is it okay for him to do that?
Ricco – We asked for opportunity to discuss the diagnosis and getting another opinion and we were not afforded that opportunity.
Lennon – Is this an open wound from a legal standpoint?
Ricco – We alerted his agent via letter that we were not afforded the opportunity that we asked for.
NYT – What is purpose of sending that letter?
Ricco – We are reserving our rights under the contract that we were not afforded the opportunity we asked for. That said we’re looking forward to getting him back as soon as possible.
Steve Popper – Was this approved by the Workmen’s Compensation fund, and was there communication between the doctors?
Ricco – As I said we were not afforded the opportunity and yes there was communication between the doctors.
Rich Couthino – Does the team consider this elective or necessary surgery? And how do you move forward as to your offseason plans?
Ricco – Clearly your talking about great player whose presence will be missed. We’re not done putting this team together and will adjust accordingly. I don’t want to get into it as far as the other thing because it’s contract language. Clearly he had a symptom, Dr. Steadman believed he could relieve those symptoms and that’s what he did.
This is an ugly situation. The tension on that call was so thick you could cut it with a knife. At one point Ricco was asked directly if he felt Carlos Beltran was insubordinate. After a 5 second pause he answered not at all. What is really sad is that this can escalate out of control, especially when the Mets top priority is to save face.
They can wait 12 weeks for Beltran to return, but depending on how the Mets pursue this, there could be such a rift in the clubhouse that will hearken back to the Bobby Bonilla days. Beltran is respected by his teammates and based on comments from Wright and a few others, it’s no question whose side they are on. The Mets better thread carefully.
Also, it was hard to get to the heart of the matter because the two individuals that spoke to Beltran and Boras post surgery were not even on the call as both Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon were on flight to NY from Arizona. Why didn’t they schedule the call for 4:00 PM instead of leaving so many unanswered questions?
I’ll post the second half of the conference call shortly.