After the sign stealing scandal that stained the Houston Astros' World Series title in 2017, the Venezuelan continues to guide his team in the search for new achievements .
Venezuelan José Altuve has been one of the essential pieces for the Houston Astros organization. Photo: IG-josealtuve27
LatinAmerican Post | Pablo Arrivillaga
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Leer en español: José Altuve de los Houston Astros busca su redención
Venezuelan José Altuve has been one of the essential pieces for the Houston Astros franchise. The native of Puerto Cabello has had spectacular years since his arrival in the Major Leagues in 2011. It is very important to note that his historical average with the Texan team exceeds .300 (data until June 3, 2021); brilliant figures for a player on the top baseball circuit.
However, not everything has been perfect in Altuve's career. Nicknamed Astroboy, he has been one of the main defendants in the sign stealing scandal in 2017 , when the Astros won their first World Series championship.
How was the stealing of signals done?
After rising as baseball champions, there was an investigation into the Houston team, initiated after the statements of a former club pitcher: Mike Fiers. He told the sports website, The Athletic, about how the Astros used a video system to steal signals, anticipating pitches from rivals.
The Texas team knew before about the kind of pitch the pitcher would make, hitting a garbage can that was near his own dugout. A methodology that no one would have suspected and of which nothing would be known, if not for the Fiers report .
The 2017 championship was tainted. The team was fined $ 5 million, in addition to losing its draft picks in both 2020 and 2021 . The team coach and general manager were fired and Alex Cora, who was then part of the Astros bench, was also subject to investigation because he was strongly linked to suspicions of having collaborated with the theft of signals. Cora, who won the World Series with the Red Sox in 2018, was fired from the team when his name was linked to the scrutiny.
The Astros second baseman is still linked to the organization, in 2020 he was exempt from receiving the boos that have tormented him in 2021 since the fans are now able to return to the stadiums .
Even at Astros' Minute Maid Park, Altuve has been the center of displays of disapproval . In addition, when visiting other MLB teams, he has been branded a "cheater" and it has been reported that fans of opposing clubs have even thrown garbage cans onto the field in protest when Astroboy steps on the batter's box.
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So far this season, Altuve maintains a batting average just under .300 and with 8 home runs so far this year, he has surpassed Bob Watson to be the eighth player in the organization with the most home runs in his history (141 to date) . This will be a year in which he will seek to reconcile with his fans and with baseball in general, proving that he does not need cheating to stand out in Majors.
Other Latinos involved in the scandal
While Altuve is the most recriminated player in the controversy surrounding the Astros, there were other Latino players who have also been heavily criticized. Among them, the Puerto Rican Carlos Correa and the Cuban Yulieski Gurriel stand out . Both are still part of the Astros. The Texan team still maintains a high level of talent and is in the race to reach the postseason in the Western Division.