Correa responds to Bellinger: Altuve never used trash cans or buzzers
The war of words between the 2017 World Series opponents is heating up.
One day after Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Cody Bellinger ripped the Houston Astros for their illegal sign-stealing scheme while questioning the legitimacy of the team's championship and Jose Altuve's MVP Award, Carlos Correa fired shots back.
The Astros shortstop stood up for his teammate and defended Houston's accomplishments three years ago.
"... (Bellinger) says, 'Jose Altuve cheated (Aaron) Judge out of the MVP.' Cody, you don't know the facts," Correa told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Saturday.
In rebutting Bellinger's criticism of Altuve, Correa claimed the second baseman "didn't use the trash can" to steal pitches from opponents. He cited Altuve, Josh Reddick, and Tony Kemp as the lone members of the 2017 Astros who didn't partake in the illicit sign-stealing method, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
"The few times that the trash can was banged was without (Altuve's) consent and he would go inside the clubhouse and inside the dugout to whoever was banging the trash can and he would get pissed. He would get mad," Correa told Rosenthal. "He would say, 'I don't want this. I can't hit like this. Don't you do that to me.' He played the game clean."
Correa also offered the first possible explanation for why Altuve wouldn't allow teammates to rip his jersey off after his pennant-winning home run in last year's ALCS.
Bellinger, echoing the suspicions of many in baseball and on social media, accused Altuve of wearing a buzzer under his jersey he didn't want revealed. Altuve and Alex Bregman have been accused of wearing buzzers.
"(In) 2019, nobody wore buzzers. That's a lie," Correa said.
"So when he's running from third base to home plate, I'm the guy up front," the All-Star added. "The first one waiting for him. He's like, 'don't take my shirt off.' The second reason - he doesn't want me to talk about this but I'm going to say it - is because he's got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone, that honestly looked terrible. It was a bad tattoo and he didn't want nobody to see it. He didn't want to show it at all.
"So, one, he didn't want to take his shirt off because his wife had told my wife earlier in the year for me to not to do that. So he was telling me not to do it. And, number two, he had an unfinished tattoo that looked kinda bad, that he didn't want people to see and people to talk about. That was the reason."
Altuve declined to address the media on Saturday, according to Rome. He apologized for the sign-stealing on Thursday in a brief statement.
Correa also criticized Bellinger for going after his team's title three years ago, saying the Astros didn't steal signs on the road. Houston won its World Series championship at Dodger Stadium.
"We end up winning Game 7 on the road. There was no trash can on the road, no cheating on the road," he said.
"Cody didn't have a good World Series," he continued. "For him to be talking about us stealing that championship, don't talk about it. You should not be talking about it. You should have done something about it. When you analyze the games, we won fair and square. We earned that championship."