With full-squad workouts beginning for all 30 MLB teams this week, many players were given the opportunity to air out their grievances about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, though initially directed by MLB to not comment on the matter, haven’t held back with their thoughts of the situation.
Kenley Jansen believes the Astros players should have been punished and suggested a postseason ban for the organization. Justin Turner was particularly critical of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for not issuing more severe penalties.
Cody Bellinger was additionally frank with his assessment of the Astros, deeming that the organization cheated for three seasons and stole a World Series championship from the Dodgers in 2017.
Bellinger also unleashed on Jose Altuve and opined that he stole the 2017 American League MVP award from New York Yankees star Aaron Judge. Judge agreed with Bellinger while also putting responsibility on himself to not leave open the possibility of MVP going to another player, via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
“With Bellinger, man, I agree with a lot of the things he said,” Judge said. “He went out there and spoke his mind. I really don’t want to get into the whole ‘if Altuve stole the MVP or not,’ because that really doesn’t matter; it’s over with. I’ve got to make sure next time I don’t keep the votes so close — to go out there and win it outright, so there’s no question. He won it, and that’s how it is.”
Altuve has been at the center of controversy over allegations that he wore a buzzer during the 2019 postseason in which he hit a pennant-winning home run against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
Carlos Correa recently came to his defense and claimed that Altuve was one of the few players that did not benefit from the trash can banging over the course of the 2017 season.
In addition to defeating the Dodgers in the World Series that year, Altuve earned his first career AL MVP Award, edging out the likes of Judge, Jose Ramirez and Mike Trout.
In 153 games, Altuve led baseball with 204 hits and a .346 batting average. He posted a .957 on-base plus slugging in 662 plate appearances and matched Judge with 8.1 WAR (Baseball-Reference).
Judge, however, paced the league in runs scored (128), home runs (52) and walks (127). He hit an overall .284/.422/.627 with 79, extra-base hits, 114 RBI and a 1.049 OPS in 678 trips to the plate.
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