Carlos Correa tried to come to the defense of his teammates, including Jose Altuve, today in response to much of the anger that has been fired their way from other players this week.
But I gotta tell you, it just came off sounding desperate, tone-deaf, and needlessly hostile. Correa focuses solely on 2017 because that’s all the Commissioner’s report focused on (but, by the way, even by the report, the video cheating extended into 2018). Maybe don’t rip into the guys who are angry because you cheated? Maybe don’t try to convince the world that you only cheated a little and it didn’t really impact anything?
You cheated. It harmed other teams and players. It was terrible. Just eat it, own it, and let players be angry at you for a while:
Carlos Correa speaks out, ripping Cody Bellinger, passionately defending José Altuve and saying the Astros deserve their 2017 title. Story: https://t.co/uAtl48SVxB
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 15, 2020
The part that’s going to have everyone talking, though, was the explanation for why Jose Altuve adamantly yelled at his teammates not to rip off his jersey after hitting the 2019 ALCS homer to send his team to the World Series (and then immediately ran into the clubhouse to change):
— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) February 15, 2020
That’s what Altuve was thinking about at one of the most insane, crazy, elated moments of his professional life: oh god no please don’t show my tattoo.
At his press conference today, Kris Bryant lit into the Astros for their cheating ways, doing something he described as worse than steroids.
“What a disgrace that was,” Bryant said of the Astros debacle. “Just watching their apology yesterday, too, there’s just no sincerity, there’s no genuineness when it comes to it. I certainly know that if I messed up big in that way, I’d be the first one to let you know just how big of a mess up it was. It’s just hard to believe, it really is. It’s sad …. I even think that if there’s players that don’t want it, I think they’re still going through with the banging and stuff, because I really think it turned into a routine there. And a lot of the apology yesterday was a lot about 2017. I’m pretty sure it was going on in 2018, 2019 too. And that’s just so sad, because I mean, if they didn’t get caught, they’d still be doing it. They’re only doing this apology because they got caught. There’s a lot of feelings on it. Everybody around the league is really upset, and rightfully so, because it’s really a disgrace to the game.”
Bryant even went on to say that the claims about buzzers – the claims Correa was trying to deny on Altuve’s behalf – were not at all far-fetched, and he believes if you’re willing to go as far as the Astros did to cheat, why wouldn’t they go even further until they got caught?
— Krista Ruch (@KristaCBS2) February 15, 2020
If a guy like Bryant is teeing off on the Astros for what they did and how they’ve subsequently handled themselves, it’s a fair bet that any further excuses or explanations or commentary coming out of Houston is going to fall on deaf ears around the league. Players are pissed, and they’re not about to let it go because of an unfinished tattoo.