The Latest MLB Scandal Allegations

Buzzing?

Jim Rome
January 17, 2020 - 9:32 am
Jose Altuve

USA Today

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One of the raps baseball has been that only the postseason is exciting. From mid-September, when teams are battling to get into the playoffs, through the end of October, when there’s a world champion at stake, it’s exciting. But the other 10 and a half months it’s boring. And that nothing that matters ever happens. 

Not anymore. MLB is clearly out to prove them wrong this year. Because pretty much everything that has happened OFF this field this January would equal or surpass anything that actually happens on the field. When it comes to breaking news and general insanity, every other league is playing catchup right now. No other sport is in their class right now. 

Think about it, this week alone we have seen: the GM and manager of the 2017 World Series and 2019 American League champs suspended and then fired, the team stripped of four draft picks, and fined five million dolllars as the result of an MLB investigation.

And the manager of the 2018 World Series champs was fired BEFORE the results of that investigation even came in.

And then yesterday, the Mets announced that Carlos Beltran would be stepping down as manager for his role in the scandal. Gone before he managed a single game. Grand opening, grand closing. Fired before he even filled out his first lineup card. Man. That is not easy to do. 

10% of MLB managers gone in a week. Pitchers and catchers are reporting in less than four weeks and three serious teams, well, two serious teams and the Mets, don’t have managers. 

The Beltran news, while not exactly unexpected, was only the start yesterday, because shortly after that broke, everyone lost their damn minds. There were these two tweets:

I’m told to stay quiet but I refuse sorry Tio. Jose Altuve and Bregman wore devices that buzzed on inside right shoulder from hallway video guy. Let’s get it all out now.

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.

Those tweets allegedly came from Carlos Beltran’s niece. And people immediately went nuts. Everyone went all Zapruder film on the Altuve home run off Aroldis Chapman that won the ALCS, breaking down his run home, what appeared to be something under the jersey and then his explanation for why he didn’t want them to tear it off.

Theories were flying about why Altuve didn’t want to have his shirt torn off, why he told his teammates not to do it, and the fact that he appeared to go into the dugout or clubhouse before putting on the championship t-shirt.

And then there were theories involving a photo of Josh Reddick with something on his chest. 

The way Twitter was going, you would think these guys were covered in buzzers and electrical nodes. Half-robot, half-hitting machine. What if someone accidentally spilled water on Altuve? Would he be electrocuted? 

And it was all wild. Completely and totally wild. And then people around the game, some more connected to it than others, claiming that this lines up with stuff they’ve heard before. A lot of people were claiming that they had multiple sources who had told them about this stuff for a while and that Carlos Beltran’s niece was finally just backing it up. 

And because there are few things more compelling than a conspiracy theory on social media, it blew up. Baseball fans on twitter went full bulletin board with red string connecting screenshots, videos and theories. You name it, it was out there. And everyone was eating it up. 

And man, if that was the case that is incredible. Carlos Beltran’s niece had exposed maybe the greatest, boldest, most insane cheating scandal not just in baseball, but in any sport.

Guys on the Astros were marching up to the plate with buzzers attached to their bodies and them someone was buzzing them to let them know what pitch was coming? That’s either the most bat-bleep crazy conspiracy theory or the boldest, brashest cheating scandal ever. What is more brash and more audacious than that?

Seriously. Banging on trash cans in a stadium full of people can’t believe how bold it would be to wear a buzzer at the plate. That is next level. I actually kind of respect it.  

Why try to steal signs from second base when you can just wear a buzzer on your body that signals the pitch? That’s way more efficient. Who needs a trash can if you’ve got a buzzer that lets you know everything? And don’t get it twisted. Don’t say, hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in all of sports to do; you still need to put a bat on the ball, even if you do know what’s coming; and it’s not that big of an advantage. Ehhhh! Wrong answer; if true, it’s an ENORMOUS advantage. That’s not just looking for any advantage you can or working an angle: that is flat out cheating. Don’t believe me? Ask Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood, who said, I would rather face a player that was taking steroids than face a player that knew every pitch that was coming.

I see you working, Alex. And I agree. At least with the juicer, you know you can fool them. With a buzzer, you can’t fool them. If true, this rips at the integrity of the game.  Not my take, but Dodger Cody Bellinger’s, who tweeted: “For the sake of the game I Hope this isn’t true... If true, there needs to be major consequences to the players. That completely ruins the integrity of the game!!!”

 And then came this tweet from Marly Rivera of ESPN: The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns. 

PLOT TWIST

Wait, so someone was posing as Carlos Beltran’s niece on Twitter? What’s weirder – Carlos Beltran’s niece blowing open this scandal on Twitter or someone pretending to be Carlos Beltran’s niece on Twitter? Is this what Ronny T has been up to all along?

There have been so many record scratches in this story the record has broken in half. 

Who would pretend to be Carlos Beltran’s niece on Twitter? AND does the fact that this person isn’t Carlos Beltran’s niece mean the information is wrong? And if it’s not Beltran’s niece who is it? Some jackwagon sitting in his basement with nothing better to do? Or could it be a player. 

There is too much here for just one take. And if you think that it only involves the Astros and only involves buzzers, and the only relative of a player who weighed in was Carlos Beltran’s fake niece, you’re wrong. Because once the floodgates opened yesterday, there were more teams, more allegations, and more baseball relatives. 

I still don’t know what’s true and what’s not. And I really hope this is not true. But if it is, you have to smash anyone who had been doing it. One, because it does speak to the integrity of the game; and two, if it was happening, then whoever was doing it probably lied to investigators who asked them about it; and if that’s the case, the cover-up is always worse than the crime; and from a baseball standpoint, if true, that’s a pretty heinous crime. I have a lot more on this still. In the meantime, hit me up with your thoughts and reaction.