The Houston Astros have no choice but to accept that the 2020 season will be a grueling one when it comes to the jeers, taunts and put-downs that well-prepared hecklers will have at their disposal in the wake of the team’s damning sign-stealing scandal.
Along with every other Astros player who played a role in the scandal, Jose Altuve is learning that lesson the hard way so far in spring training.
As the Astros second baseman was signing autographs for some kids this week, he was met with taunts related to how his tattoo became a central aspect of the all-consuming controversy.
Fans at spring training were calling out for Altuve to show them his tattoo— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 25, 2020
Earlier in the month, Carlos Correa said the second baseman didn’t take his jersey off after winning the 2019 ALCS because of a bad tattoo
(via domcricenti/IG) pic.twitter.com/FOG1NSV5NF
The tattoo-gate drama revolves around how Altuve appeared to tell teammates not to rip off his jersey following his pennant-clinching home run over the Yankees last October. The suspicion that gained some steam of late is that doing so would have blown the lid off how the Astros were wearing buzzers to somehow cheat.
Carlos Correa recently explained that Altuve had a tattoo in the works on his shoulder that didn’t look so great, a dubious claim that elicited mockery, which then in turn inspired the above taunts.
It’s certainly been a tough row to hoe thus far in camp for Altuve. He was lustily booed in his first spring training at-bat this week.
Adding injury to insult, Altuve was plunked — inadvertently, it seems — later in the game.
These latest indignities followed a television station in Los Angeles labeling Altuve as “Astros Cheater” in a chyron in footage of his apology presser a few weeks back.
In other words, buckle up, Altuve and the Astros. It’s going to be a long, long season.
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