How Jose Altuve Suffered from Astros’ Cheating Scandal Explained
Jose Altuve was making massive headlines for his striking prowess. Ever since he got into the big leagues, he had consistently been one of the best hitters in all of Major League Baseball, year after year.
However, since the Houston Astros' cheating scandal surfaced back in November 2019, the once-celebrated player's strike rate has suffered massive blows.
How Did the Houston Astros Cheat?
As per the investigation reports from MLB (via Sporting News), the Astros' cheating scandal began in early 2017.
This was when the Huston employees in the video room used the game feed from the center field camera to decode and relay opposing teams' signs to the Astros' baserunners on second base.
The team had come up with clever tactics to relay said messages.
They went with anything and everything from clapping, whistling to banging on trash cans.
With the runner on second, the team would have a go-between from the video room and the dugout, and personnel in the dugout would send the signal out to the runner on second, who would then signal to the batter which pitch was coming.
Jose Altuve Was a Part of Astros' Cheating Scandal
The scheme was going well until a former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers flipped.
He's signed on with the Tigers and eventually moved to the AL West rival Athletics.
"That's not playing the game the right way," Fiers told The Athletic. "They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win."
Following the claim, MLB launched an investigation to look into the situation.
They were already looking into Astros' former executive Brandon Taubman.
He had made inappropriate comments to one of the female reporters after winning the 2019 AL Pennant.
His comments directly reflected the team's signing of Roberto Osuna, who had been suspended by MLB for violating the league's domestic violence policies.
After the investigation, the league punished the team by restricting them from making the first- and second-round picks in both the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
Further, if the team lost any of the picks due to compensation in signing a free agent, the team would forfeit the next applicable pick.
Jose Altuve Issued an Apology After Cheating Scandal Was Exposed
After the scandal was wholly outed, Altuve issued an official statement to the press claiming that the entire team was remorseful of their actions. He said,
I want to say that the whole Astros organization and the team feels bad about what happened in 2017. We especially feel remorse for the impact on the fans and the game of baseball. And our team is determined to move forward.
When all was said and done, Altuve's game decisively suffered. Altuve had batted over .300 at home in the last three seasons.
But as of August 2020, he was batting .188. That was an all-time low for the striker.
When the scandal broke, Altuve was riding the headlines as his wife Nina was expecting their second baby together.
The couple has been married for 15 years as of this writing.
At the time, Altuve and his wife's firstborn daughter Melanie was four years of age.