Could it be that bad?
According to friend and teammate Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve’s collarbone tattoo was bad enough that it was one of the reasons he did not want his jersey ripped following a dramatic, game-winning home run during last year’s ALCS against the Yankees.
From sign-stealing plants in the crowd, illegal monitors set up in the clubhouse, to banging trash-cans, and—according to some—wearing “buzzers” to signal pitches to batters, the Astros have become the ire of the league.
It cast a particular moment, the aforementioned Altuve home-run (seen below) in a different light.
A closer look shows Altuve demanding that his teammates not rip his jersey following the blast.
It raised eyebrows, given that moments like this are usually marked by unbridled bliss in which grown men rip away another’s clothes in celebratory victory.
It was suspicious enough that MLB Reporter Ken Rosenthal—who incidentally co-authored the article that blew the lid off of the scandal—confronted Altuve about the jersey-clutching immediately in his post-game interview.
At first, we heard Altuve say that he’s “shy” and that he “got in trouble with [his] wife” last time it happened.
But now? Add a potentially-horrendous tattoo into the mix. Let’s hope he got the spelling right (looking at you, Orlando Bloom).
Altuve is not the only Astro who has become the subject of conspiratorial scrutiny. Outfielder Josh Reddick was briefly put on blast for wearing what was thought to some kind of a wire in a photo seen below.
That was, until Reddick addressed it openly, saying simply: “That’s confetti…it gets ridiculous, that’s all I’ll say.”
This is what baseball has become.
There have been countless blemishes on America’s pastime. Yet the role of technology seems to be making the current allegations feel as though they are in a league of their own.
The MLB, led by commissioner Robert Manfred, may not share the same concern.
While their investigation progressed through the offseason, debates waged on among Astros fans and their detractors—especially among the Dodgers and Yankees.
Both teams have had players speak out against the Astros, stating that they not only may have stolen away their fair shot at a World Series title through cheating, but taken away individual player accolades as well.
Cody Bellinger, of the Los Angles Dodgers, said that Altuve “stole the MVP” award from Yankee Aaron Judge in 2017.
Well, if nothing else, the Astros seem to have brought the East and West coast teams together in unity—in their hatred for the Houston franchise.
Oh, and by the way. Altuve says the tattoo is not that bad.
It is difficult to say, but at the rate, this unfolds, it feels like the MLB is a long way from “play ball.”