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#pounditTuesday, December 1, 2020

Articles tagged: Jose Altuve

CC Sabathia has great reaction to Jose Altuve’s World Series guarantee

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia isn’t doing much to hide his disgust toward the Houston Astros or the team’s response to the cheating scandal.

At the team’s fan event on Saturday, many Astros players made their first public comments on the matter since the team was disciplined for electronic sign stealing. Most would not comment on the allegations and refused to offer any apology.

Jose Altuve, however, said the Astros were undeterred and essentially promised another World Series appearance in 2020.

Newly-retired Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia did not seem convinced. He posted an image of Altuve walking to home plate through a metal detector, with an even more savage caption.

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Guarantee*

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Few players have been more vocally critical than the Astros than Sabathia. He was part of the Yankees teams that lost to both Houston and Boston in 2017 and 2018, respectively. It’s easy to understand why he’s bitter.

Sabathia makes it clear that he thinks a good part of Houston’s success is attributed to sign stealing. Houston’s success — or how much of it the team has — will be a huge storyline worth watching in 2020.

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:

Ken Rosenthal shares thoughts on Jose Altuve interview that fueled buzzer rumors

Jose Altuve buzzer

An interview Ken Rosenthal conducted with Jose Altuve after the Houston Astros won the ALCS last season gained widespread attention on Thursday, but the reporter insists he did not suspect that Altuve was covering anything up when the two spoke amid a hectic celebration.

Altuve belted a walk-off home run off of New York Yankees flamethrower Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of the ALCS, and he was seen making a conscious effort to keep his jersey closed and pleading with his teammates to not tear it off as he approached home plate. Rosenthal asked Altuve after the game about not wanting to have his jersey pulled off, and the infielder asked Rosenthal to repeat the question — the only time that interview he needed a question repeated — and then said his wife got upset last time his jersey was torn off.

After some rumors popped up about Astros players possibly wearing buzzers under their jerseys as part of their sign-stealing scheme, many looked back at the Altuve home run and interview and concluded he must have been hiding something. Rosenthal said Friday that he did not even see Altuve come to home plate, and the question the reporter asked is one that was fed to him by a FOX Sports producer in his ear piece.

Rosenthal also noted that Major League Baseball investigated the possibility of Astros players using wearable devices and found no evidence of it happening. The league found no evidence of the Astros cheating in 2019 in general.

The way Altuve acted was unusual, if nothing else. In addition to fumbling a bit in the Rosenthal interview, he also went to a private area to change out of his jersey and into a championship T-shirt before celebrating with his teammates. Most Astros players did not leave the field.

Altuve has denied wearing any type of electronic device, and it seems unlikely that MLB will re-open its investigation unless there is compelling new evidence.

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:

Anatomy of an Astros cheating rumor: ‘Carlos Beltran’s niece’ is actually a phony Twitter account

Jose Altuve buzzer

The sports world went wild on Thursday with allegations that some of the Houston Astros’ top players wore electronic buzzing devices that communicated what pitch was coming during their at-bats. The allegations of this extremely advanced form of high-tech cheating actually had been around for two months, but the story received widespread attention on Thursday thanks to a push from a mysterious Twitter account that seemingly had new credibility.

In this story, we will get to the bottom of the Twitter account responsible for the rumor, and help set the record straight, giving you the facts of the situation.

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Jose Altuve denies wearing electronic buzzer

Jose Altuve buzzer

Jose Altuve denies that he wore an electronic buzzer during games as he has been accused of.

On Thursday, there days after MLB handed out punishments to the Houston Astros for cheating, accusations flew that some of the Astros’ best players wore electronic buzzers during games to receive stolen signals. Adding to the speculation were a few videos where Altuve seemed to be covering up his jersey so that a possible buzzer/wire wouldn’t be exposed.

MLB responded to the accusations and said they looked into whether the Astros used wearable devices and couldn’t find evidence to substantiate the claims.

Both Altuve and his agent Scott Boras issued statements to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman denying the use of an electronic buzzer.

Here were the explanations from Boras:

Altuve hit a walk-off 2-run home run off Aroldis Chapman to send the Astros to the 2019 World Series. His homer came on an 84-mph slider with a 2-1 count. Chapman threw his fastball 59 percent of the time last season and 31 percent of the time, according to Fangraphs. Did Altuve know a slider was coming and to look for something offspeed? The Astros are not receiving the benefit of any doubt on these questions now.

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 interview, jersey coverup sparks electronic buzzer speculation

Jose Altuve buzzer

An interview from Jose Altuve after his huge home run to send the Houston Astros to the World Series last season, coupled with the infielder’s behavior after the homer, have fueled more speculation about the Astros illegally using an electronic buzzer to communicate signs.

Altuve hit a monster home run off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees in October. As Altuve approached home plate, he was seen making a conscious effort to keep his jersey closed to prevent his teammates from ripping it off in celebration.

Altuve then was asked by Ken Rosenthal in a postgame interview about not wanting his jersey ripped off. He asked for the question to be repeated — the only time that interview he needed a question repeated — and then said his wife got upset last time it was taken off. It was almost like he was buying time to come up with an answer.

Altuve also went into a private area to change into his American League champions T-shirt before coming back onto the field.

Altuve seemed to be making a concerted effort to cover up something.

There has been speculation that some Astros players wore electronic buzzers, possibly under their jerseys, through which they could be signaled which pitch was coming. Plus, the anonymous Twitter account that shared inside information about Carlos Beltran before deactivating also accused Altuve and Alex Bregman of using buzzers inside their right shoulder — exactly the area Altuve was covering up.

Altuve’s agent Scott Boras addressed the electronic buzzer speculation.

There were also questions online whether Josh Reddick had something like that on his body in this photo, though some believe it was confetti.

Many teams and players around the league that lost to Houston are upset. Former Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has said he felt “cheated.” Former Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer has long insinuated the Astros were up to no good.

And on Thursday, Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger lashed out at the Astros via Twitter.

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:

Yankees make costly strategic decision against Jose Altuve to lose ALCS

Aroldis Chapman Yankees

The Houston Astros won a dramatic ALCS Game 6 in the bottom of the 9th off Aroldis Chapman, but the New York Yankees made a strategic blunder that contributed to the 6-4 Astros win.

The Yankees had tied the game in the top of the 9th inning on a two-run home run by DJ LeMahieu, which allowed them to bring Chapman into a tie game in the bottom of the 9th. Chapman retired the first two hitters, catcher Martin Maldonado and outfielder Josh Reddick, relatively easily. He seemed to lose command of his fastball against George Springer and walked the Houston outfielder to bring Jose Altuve to the plate with one on and two out.

Normally, facing Altuve in that spot would be a no-win situation. The Astros’ normal No. 3 hitter is Michael Brantley, but he had been removed for defensive purposes in the 9th. Instead of Brantley, light-hitting outfielder Jake Marisnick was on deck behind Altuve.

Chapman’s fastball command was still failing him, and he went to 2-0 on Altuve. At this point, Chapman shouldn’t have given Altuve anything to hit. Marisnick hit just .225 against left-handed pitching in 2019, and with Chapman’s overwhelming stuff, he would have had a significant advantage over the reserve outfielder.

Instead, Chapman left a breaking ball up on the outer edge, and Altuve smashed it for a series-winning home run.

We already know what Altuve can do against elite left-handed pitching. He hit .311 with a .677 slugging percentage against lefties this season. As good as Chapman is, Altuve absolutely mashes southpaws. The Yankees surely knew that. At 2-0, Chapman should have just pitched around him. Their failure to do so may have cost them a chance to play in a Game 7 and keep their World Series hopes alive.

Jose Altuve appears OK after close call in batting practice

The Houston Astros look to have narrowly averted disaster before their third game of the MLB season.

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported on Saturday that star infielder Jose Altuve was struck by a line drive off the bat of teammate Yuli Gurriel during batting practice before that day’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Altuve initially appeared to be in noticeable pain but returned to warm up like usual with his teammates after briefly retreating to the clubhouse.

The former AL MVP was also in good enough shape to take his customary spot in the starting lineup as the game kicked off. Rome did add though that Altuve was sporting a sleeve on his right arm that he did not normally wear.

The 28-year-old Altuve batted .316 with 13 home runs and 61 RBIs last season and has gone 2-for-7 with a solo homer through the first two games of 2019. While he appears to dodge a bullet here, we did see a similar batting practice mishap happen with another AL West team in recent months.

Twitter reacts to Jose Altuve’s hilariously bad new commercial

Jose Altuve is a six-time All-Star, former MVP, and World Series champion, but he’s probably won’t be getting many accolades for his product pitching.

On Wednesday, the Houston Astros star sent a cryptic tweet indicating that he was fed up and declaring that he was “quitting.”

The next day, Altuve revealed the big mystery: his tweet was part of an ad campaign for DIRECTV. A 30-second spot that Altuve also tweeted out was based around the infielder causing a mad panic when he was overheard saying that he was quitting, only to then reveal that he was merely quitting cable. Take a look:

The fake-out was groan-inducing at best and cringeworthy at worst, leading to some funny Twitter reactions. Here were some of the best ones:

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Report: Jose Altuve undergoes knee surgery

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has reportedly wasted no time trying to rectify the right knee problem that bothered him for the bulk of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Altuve underwent right knee surgery on Friday, a day after his Astros were eliminated from the American League Championship Series.

It’s not a huge surprise. The injury has been a lingering one, and it forced him into his first career DL appearance during the regular season. It was so troublesome for him in the playoffs that he couldn’t play second base and was relegated to DHing during the final three games of the ALCS, and made even worse by the fact that he aggravated it during Game 4. It may well have been a factor in a playoff series that saw him hit just .250 with only one extra-base hit.

Jose Altuve admits being ‘upset’ over interference call

Mookie Betts fan interference

The Houston Astros had plenty of chances to win Game 4 of the ALCS on Wednesday night, but it had to hurt that they lost by two after having a potential two-run home run taken away due to fan interference. While Jose Altuve is never really one to complain, the Astros star can’t help but feel like the wrong call was made.

Following Houston’s heartbreaking 8-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox, Altuve said he was “upset” over umpire Joe West calling interference on the field and the play being upheld.

Most would agree that the Red Sox caught a break, so you can’t blame Altuve or any other Astros player who feels the team was cheated out of two runs. Replays appeared to show that the ball was over the wall as Betts was trying to make a play on it, meaning it should not have been interference since the fan did not reach over into the field of play. There simply wasn’t enough replay evidence to overturn West’s call.

Altuve and his teammates can steam about the call all they want, but they still have another game to play on Thursday in hopes of keeping their season alive. Their best bet is to move on as quickly as possible and leave the complaining to people like Kate Upton.