The punishment the Houston Astros received in wake of the sign-stealing scandal earlier this week sent shockwaves throughout baseball, but some feel the scheme goes deeper than just video cameras and banging on trash cans.
Astros players Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick were wrapped up in another controversy, which started on social media after former Houston outfielder-turned-New York Mets manager “mutually parted ways” with his new team over the sign-stealing fallout.
The frenzy began soon after Carlos Beltran stepped down as Mets manager when a Twitter account claiming to be Beltran’s niece surfaced. The person wrote that Altuve and Bregman “wore devices that buzzed on inside right shoulder from hallway video guy.” The buzzer would alert a batter to when a pitch was coming. The person added, “I have pictures from locker I will keep for rainy day. Altuve didn’t want shirt torn off if I remember maybe I misspoke but Chapman gave up HR in game.”
The alleged Beltran niece was referring to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series between the Astros and the New York Yankees in 2019. Altuve hit a walk-off home run to send the Astros to their second World Series in three years. As he is coming around the bases, he tells his teammates not to rip off his jersey. The sequences raised eyebrows on Twitter. Altuve later explained that he didn’t want his shirt ripped off because he didn’t want his wife to get mad at him.
However, ESPN’s Marly Rivera reached out to the Beltran family and they said his so-called “niece” wasn’t related to Beltran.
Altuve denied the allegations to New York Post's baseball columnist.
Gary Sheffield Jr., the son of former baseball slugger Gary Sheffield, said the Twitter account belonged to a major-league player and was being used as a “burner.” He didn’t clarify who the account belonged to.
The account also claimed that Yankees and infielder Gleyber Torres was also somehow stealing signs.
Reddick appeared to be the next target as photos surfaced of him with what looked like tape over a string or wire. However, Reddick still had his party goggles on from celebrating a pennant and the square piece on the left side of his chest was more likely confetti.
Reddick’s wife, Jett, defended her husband from Twitter trolls. Others also came to his defense.
Spiking down the theories even more was New York Post columnist Joel Sherman. MLB told Sherman that they “explored wearable devices during the investigation but found no evidence to substantiate it.” MLB said the investigation included the 2019 season.