Baseball's current landscape makes it hard to not think about Carlos Beltrán. Take a look this way, and two of the franchises Beltrán played for (the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets) are seeking new managers. Take a look that way, and two teams that his legacy will forever be linked with (the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox) are playing for the American League pennant.

Beltrán disappeared from the public eye after resigning his post as Mets skipper in early 2020 after he was named by Major League Baseball as one of the supposed ringleaders in the Astros sign-stealing scandal. Beltrán wasn't officially punished -- none of the players on the 2017 Astros were -- yet he's been ostracized in a way that those who were punished largely haven't been.

To wit:

Then-Astros skipper AJ Hinch now manages the Detroit Tigers. The belief around the league is that Hinch has more input on personnel and staffing decisions than his peers. In other words, the Tigers have entrusted the reins to someone who wouldn't put his foot down against his last team's cheating.

Alex Cora is once again managing the Red Sox, the other franchise punished for improper video use in 2020. That Cora also had links to the Astros didn't seem to make much of a difference to anyone, for whatever reason. Cora, like Hinch, was suspended for the shortened 2020 season by MLB.