Just days after apologizing for what some consider the biggest cheating scandal in baseball history, the Houston Astros are lashing back at their critics, namely the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa responded to Bellinger's criticism from Friday, telling The Athletic and MLB Network on Saturday morning that the Dodgers' slugger is misinformed.
"The problem I have is when players go out there and they don't know the facts, they're not informed about the situation and they just go out there and go on camera and just talk," Correa said in an exclusive interview with Ken Rosenthal. "With me, that doesn't seem right. It doesn't seem right at all."
Bellinger's Dodgers lost to the Astros in the 2017 World Series, which is also the year Houston has been accused of their sign-stealing tactics that involved a live television feed from center field, with batters then informed of what pitch was coming by banging on a trash can.
"I thought the apologies were whatever," Bellinger told reporters in Glendale, Ariz., on Friday. "I thought (owner) Jim Crane's was weak. I thought (commissioner Rob) Manfred's punishment was weak, giving (the players) immunity. Those guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don't realize is (Jose) Altuve stole an MVP from (New York Yankees slugger Aaron) Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us. But it's over."
It is not over for Correa, who took aim at Bellinger despite being on the team that admitted to cheating in 2017.
"So when we move forward and he talks about Altuve, he says, 'Jose Altuve cheated Judge out of the MVP,'" Correa said. "Cody, you don't know the facts. Nobody wants to talk about this, but I'm going to talk about this. Jose Altuve was the one guy that didn't use the trash can."
Correa also defended the Astros' owner.
"So he's calling our owner weak," Correa said. "Our owner, he's calling weak. A guy ... who made so much money that he could buy the Houston Astros, didn't know about what was going on early in 2017, and you're going to sit there because he's trying his best to protect our organization ... ."
Correa does admit to the mistakes in judgment Astros players made in 2017 with their sign-stealing tactics.
"What we did in 2017, yeah, it was an advantage," Correa said during his interview with The Athletic. "Yeah, it was wrong. Yeah, we feel bad about it. Because it's completely ... it's just bad. It's just bad. It's a bad look for our organization. It's a bad look for us players. But I'm here to tell you Jose Altuve earned that MVP. That's his MVP, and nobody can take that away from him."
--Field Level Media