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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Articles tagged: Jose Altuve

Did Jose Altuve go shirtless after home run in response to Yankees?

Jose Altuve shirt

Jose Altuve did it again. The Houston Astros second baseman hit a walk-off home run to beat the New York Yankees, only this time the stakes were not quite as high.

Altuve’s 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth capped off a 6-run inning and gave the Astros an 8-7 win on Sunday.

After hitting his walk-off home run, Altuve’s jersey was ripped off by his teammates.

Why is that significant? A rumor regarding the Astros’ cheating scandal suggested their players were using electronic buzzers. Altuve was even accused of covering his alleged buzzer up after a 2019 home run to eliminate the Yankees from the postseason during the ALCS. Aaron Judge made reference to this accusation during his home run trot on Saturday (video here). The Astros might have wanted to rip Altuve’s shirt off as a point Sunday to show that the second baseman did not have any devices strapped to his chest.

Buzzer or not, Altuve is still ripping the hearts out of the Yankees.

Did Aaron Judge troll Jose Altuve with jersey move during home run trot?

Aaron Judge jersey

A sly move by Aaron Judge during a home run trot has some wondering whether he was trolling Jose Altuve.

The New York Yankees are in Houston for a three-game series against the Astros. Judge clubbed a solo home run in the top of the third inning on Saturday for the first run of the game. As he was approaching third base during his home run trot, the Yankees slugger pressed his jersey together.

What’s the story there?

Altuve hit a walk-off home run in the ALCS against the Yankees in 2019 to send his Astros to the World Series. Altuve’s bizarre behavior, such as clutching his shirt and changing it (video here), played a role in rumors that the Astros were wearing electronic buzzers under their jerseys.

The buzzer rumor was the peak of the suspicion regarding Astros cheating allegations. The Astros were confirmed to have cheated during the 2017 postseason, but others felt they continued to cheat by doing much more in the ensuing years.

The Yankees were one of the biggest victims of the Astros’ alleged cheating. Their players won’t soon forget what happened.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Are Astros players ducking the All-Star Game to avoid fans?

Jose Altuve

Are four Houston Astros players ducking the All-Star Game to avoid potentially hostile treatment from the fans? It’s a case worth examining.

The Astros lead the AL West and entered Saturday with the second-highest winning percentage in the American League. They had four players selected to the All-Star Game: Michael Brantley, Ryan Pressly, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. None of the four players will be going to Denver for the All-Star Game at Coors Field.

Altuve and Correa said Thursday they would not be going to Denver.

Altuve said he had a leg injury even though he hasn’t missed any games lately.

Correa said he wanted to spend time with his pregnant wife, who is due in November. However, he is now on the COVID-19 list and said to be ill.

On Saturday, Pressly and Brantley also said they would be opting out.

Brantley says he will be taking time off to nurse an injury to his side that has bothered him. Brantley was still in the Astros’ lineup on Saturday.

Pressly has chosen to spend time with his pregnant wife, who is due in the coming days.

If you want to be really generous, you could go down the list and say each individual has a legitimate reason for not participating. But seeing Altuve and Brantley play while saying they have injuries to look out for doesn’t really add up.

Collectively, it’s a poor reflection on the Astros that all of their players opted out. It makes it seem like they are ducking the game to avoid negative attention for their cheating scandal.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Jose Altuve got screwed by bad call on check swing

Jose Altuve check swing

Jose Altuve got no help from the umpires during an at-bat in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the ALCS at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. on Tuesday night.

Altuve was batting against Tampa Bay Rays closer Diego Castillo in the bottom of the ninth. The Houston Astros had runners on first and second with one out, which gave Altuve a chance to tie the 5-2 game with a 3-run home run.

Altuve worked the count to 2-2 before the pitch in question. Castillo threw a nasty breaking ball that Altuve offered at, but the Astros second baseman held back on his check swing.

Unfortunately for Houston, home plate umpire Jeff Nelson said Altuve went around and called him out. There was no appeal to first base umpire Ted Barrett, who would have had a better look at the play.

The strikeout made it two outs in the inning. The next batter was Michael Brantley, who flied out to end the game.

Tampa Bay won the game 5-2 to take a 3-0 series lead. Altuve already was having a rough enough game in the field. Having the bat taken out of his hands on that call probably just made his evening even more painful.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Jose Altuve has developed the yips in the ALCS and is costing Houston

Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve picked a really bad time to start having problems in the field.

The Houston Astros second baseman committed yet another throwing error in the ALCS. During Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday night at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., Altuve bounced a throw to second base.

Instead of getting a double play and holding a 1-0 lead with two outs in the top of the sixth, Houston allowed the Rays to have runners on first and second with nobody out. Tampa Bay ended up breaking the game open with five runs in the inning.

That’s bad, but the unfortunate issue for the Astros and Altuve is this has become a trend.

In Game 2 of the series on Monday, Altuve made a throwing error on a ball that would have ended the inning in the first. Instead, the next batter was Manuel Margot, who hit a 3-run home run. Altuve made another throwing error in the third, though it did not lead to any runs for Tampa Bay.

Altuve had an uncharacteristically poor regular season and batted .219/.286/.344 with a .629 OPS. He only had four fielding errors in the regular season. He has made four throwing errors in this postseason alone, and his throwing errors in the ALCS have led to eight Rays runs.

Many baseball fans probably have very little sympathy for Altuve over his struggles after his role in the cheating scandal.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Jose Altuve, George Springer lose top status on video game amid season struggles

Jose Altuve

Some Houston Astros star players are struggling this season, and that has been reflected in reduced player ratings in a popular video game.

“MLB The Show 20” assigns players overall ratings for the game. Anyone who has an 85-or-higher rating receives a diamond; 80-84 is gold; 75-79 is silver; and bronze is 65-74.

Due to their poor starts to the 2020 season, both Jose Altuve and George Springer have dropped from diamond ratings to gold ones.

Altuve was the No. 1-ranked second baseman prior to the start of the season, and his 85 rating made him the only diamond-quality player at the position. With an 85 ranking, Springer also had diamond status. For context, Mike Trout received the highest overall rating at 95, and the next highest players were Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer at 92.

Springer has dropped to an 82 as of the most recent game update, while Altuve is an 81.

The ratings drops make sense given how the players have performed this year.

Springer is batting .189/.338/.377 this season. Altuve is batting .171/.244/.305 and has been dropped to the seventh spot in the team’s lineup. Some fans have a very good idea about the reason for the players’ struggles, though the solid play from Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley runs contrary to the popular theory.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Video: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman hit by pitches in scrimmage vs. Royals

Alex Bregman

Houston Astros stars Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were hit by pitches in consecutive at-bats during Tuesday’s scrimmage against the Kansas City Royals. Is that a sign of things to come this season? Maybe, but in this case it seems highly unlikely that it was intentional.

Altuve and Bregman were both hit by pitches from Royals right-hander Jorge Lopez in the second inning. The bases were loaded each time, and the pitches looked more like they simply got away from Lopez. See for yourself:

On one hand, you could say there is no better time to throw at Astros hitters than during a meaningless game with the bases loaded. The game doesn’t count, so giving up the runs isn’t costly. Plunking Altuve and Bregman with the bases loaded also removes some of the suspicion because, well, who would do that?

All that said, it just wouldn’t have made sense for Lopez to hit consecutive batters in that spot. The 27-year-old is coming off a rough season in which he compiled a 6.33 ERA in 39 appearances. His only focus should be proving to the Royals that he is worthy of a bullpen spot, not sending messages to Astros players because of their cheating scandal.

Bregman has unintentionally advocated for him and his teammates to be thrown at this season, so it would not be a surprise if it happens at some point. We’re fairly certain Lopez wasn’t trying to be the first to do it.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Jose Altuve appears to send message by showing off collarbone tattoo

Carlos Correa offered an explanation last week for why Jose Altuve did not want his teammates tearing off his jersey after the second baseman belted a walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS, and Altuve may have tried to provide further evidence on Monday.

Correa told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that Altuve did not want his jersey ripped off in celebration because Altuve had “an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible.” Naturally, fans flocked to social media to see if they could find any photos of Altuve shirtless that would confirm or deny what Correa said. Then on Monday, Altuve walked around bare-chested in front of a group of reporters in the clubhouse. There was, indeed, a tattoo on his left collarbone.

The tattoo says “Melanie,” which is Altuve’s 3-year-old daughter’s name, and has a heart. We still don’t know when Altuve got the tattoo or why it would have looked horrible at one point, but it seems like he was intentionally flashing the ink to reporters.

Rumors flew last month that Altuve did not want his jersey torn off because he was hiding an electronic buzzer that some Astros players wore to help them steal signs.

Those who are fully invested in this investigation pointed out that Altuve shared a photo on Instagram last July that showed him without a shirt on. That would have been a few months before the ALCS, and he did not have a tattoo at the time. The photo was captioned “Off Day,” and the Astros were off on July 29.

As expected, we really don’t have any answers. Altuve has a tattoo now. There’s no way of knowing when he got it, what it looked like unfinished, or if he was actually embarrassed to show it off. What we do know is that fans aren’t the only ones mocking the tattoo excuse.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Adam Jones has a laugh over Carlos Correa’s tattoo explanation for Jose Altuve

Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa has decided to dig his heels in and defend the Houston Astros against some of the criticism they are facing, and former MLB star Adam Jones found one thing Correa said about the scandal particularly entertaining.

Jones, who now plays professionally in Japan, admitted in a tweet on Saturday that he has been watching the Astros cheating scandal unfold from a distance, but he couldn’t resist mocking Correa over the Houston shortstop’s explanation for why Jose Altuve did not want teammates ripping his jersey off. Correa said Altuve had an unfinished tattoo at the time that “looked terrible.”

Altuve was seen pleading with his teammates to not tear off his jersey in celebration after he hit a walk-off home run off of Aroldis Chapman in the ALCS last season. That led to speculation that Altuve may have been wearing a buzzer. Altuve’s explanation for why he didn’t want the jersey torn off only made him look more suspicious, and it’s strange that he wouldn’t have just admitted he had a tattoo he didn’t want people seeing.

Many Astros players have remained quiet while the media, fans and opponents criticize them, but Correa has been pretty aggressive in defending his team. We can assure you Jones isn’t the only one who found the tattoo excuse laughable.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Cody Bellinger not buying Jose Altuve’s electronic buzzer excuse

Jose Altuve buzzer

Cody Bellinger is among the most dissatisfied players in MLB over the Houston Astros’ cheating and the team’s lack of remorse and penalties from MLB.

Bellinger took a shot at both the Astros and Red Sox in January over the allegations. He also shared his concerns over the allegations about some of the Astros’ top players wearing electronic buzzers to receive stolen signals.

On Friday, Bellinger spoke from the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Arizona. He shared his doubts about Jose Altuve’s behavior and explanation after hitting a walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman to send the Astros to the World Series last season.

Bellinger’s questions about the matter represent exactly why so many fans were concerned and outraged. Altuve’s behavior did not make much sense. And then when you see former Astros manager A.J. Hinch’s initial comments about the buzzers, it’s hard not to feel like the rumors were all true.

Bellinger, the reigning NL MVP, had much more to say about the Astros, Rob Manfred, and Jim Crane.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here: