Love or hate what he's been saying: Carlos Correa deserves your respect
"Honestly, we were wrong. Everything that happened that year (2017) was wrong"
I'd imagine you've heard by now: the Houston Astros cheated in the 2017 MLB season, they got caught, punished, and lost their manager and general manager. Well, with Spring Training starting right now, a lot of players have been asked about their thoughts on the Astros, especially the public apology the team and owner, Jim Crane, made earlier this week. As one can imagine, a lot of players had something to say about it. Off the top of my head, I can think of comments made from players like Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Clayton Kershaw, Aroldis Chapman, Justin Turner, Gerrit Cole, and so many more. Of course, a lot of Astros players have been asked about the whole situation as well, and one player's responses have been extraordinarily noteworthy: Carlos Correa.
Correa is the current Astros shortstop and was a part of the 2017 World Champion team. Correa has been very outspoken this Spring Training in defense of his teammates. He first spoke on his ex-teammate, Carlos Beltran, when an article from The Athletic had several anonymous Astros players point out Beltran as the veteran ring-leader behind the cheating system. Correa defended Beltran, saying that he was the "nicest guy", wasn't forcing anything on anyone, and was definitely NOT using his veteran presence to try and push the cheating habits.
That instance was only the first of many regarding Correa speaking out in defense of his teammates. In a recent interview with MLB insider Ken Rosenthal, Correa had quite a bit to say. He responded to Cody Bellinger's comments in which Bellinger said that they (the Astros) stole the 2017 World Series from Beliinger's team, the LA Dodgers. Correa broke down each big Astros offensive moment in every game of the series, mentioning that the Dodgers frequently changed their signs (making them nearly impossible to steal), and even calling out Bellinger on an error he made which cost his team a game in the series.
Correa also responded to Bellinger's claim that Astros' second baseman, Jose Altuve, 'stole' the 2017 MVP award from Aaron Judge. Correa told Rosenthal that "Jose Altuve was the one guy who didn't use the trash cans" and "he played the game clean". He even went on to explain that Altuve never consented to being a part of the trash bangs, and in the rare occasions when he heard the cans while at the plate, Altuve would get upset and ask his teammates to cut it out. Correa's most controversial statement during the interview was when he told Bellinger, and all other players giving commentary on the situation, to "shut the f- up" if they don't have all of the facts on the situation. Correa then went on to strictly deny any cheating in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, citing the Commissioner's report. He addressed the Altuve 'don't rip my shirt off' incident in the 2019 ALCS, saying there was no buzzer, that Altuve's wife was upset the last time his jersey was ripped off, and claiming that he was hiding a nasty tattoo that he didn't want to be seen.
Now let me be clear, Correa's comments don't make the Astros anywhere near innocent. They don't exonerate anyone, including Altuve and Beltran. Correa may not even be telling the truth for all we know. BUT, this does shed new light on things. Correa admitted he and his teammates were wrong, and he seems pretty sincere to me. Despite his guilt, he wants to stand up for his teammates and his friends. That deserves respect.
Correa knows that this season is going to be really difficult for him and his team, in fact, there's already concern that the MLB should protect Astros players from being intentionally drilled by pitchers. People around the league are already going crazy with their comments, and Correa is doing what he feels is right by standing up for his teammates and addressing the situation from his perspective. Although I don't really agree with all the points he is making, and he could do another interview any day that could totally change my opinion on him, I respect Carlos Correa for what he is doing. I hope that he and his teammates act remorseful and remain safe going into their rocky 2020 season.
Here is the link to Correa's interview with Ken Rosenthal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjYEJ8XSXto