Carlos Correa denies Astros were intimidated by Carlos BeltranSporting News — firstname.lastname@example.org (Sporting News)
Carlos Correa denied reports that Carlos Beltran intimidated a green Astros clubhouse into stealing signs in 2017, saying Thursday that "everybody" could have stopped the scheme had they wanted to.
"We didn't feel scared of Beltran; we didn't feel intimidated," Correa said, per ESPN. "Whoever the anonymous source is that's saying that we felt intimidated or we were too young to say something, that's just straight-up bulls—."
Earlier in the week, The Athletic reported that "small groups of Astros discussed their misgivings" about the team's sign-stealing during the 2017 season, and that catcher Brian McCann approached Beltran — reportedly the ringleader of the scheme — to try to stop it, accoridng to two unnamed members of the team.
"He disregarded it and steamrolled everybody," the report quotes an anonymous player as saying. "Where do you go if you’re a young, impressionable player with the Astros and this guy says, ‘We’re doing this’? What do you do?"
Correa, along with other Astros, pushed back against that narrative during their first public comments Thursday and defended Beltran, who was fired from his managerial job with the Mets earlier this offseason as a result of the sign-stealing scandal.
"Beltran didn't intimidate anybody," Correa said. "I know I'm Puerto Rican (as is Beltran), and people will say, 'Oh, he's just trying to protect him.' But you can talk to every single guy here that was here in 2017. Beltran is an unbelievable gentleman. He's a straight-up gentleman. And nobody — not even you [reporters] — nobody, nobody, would feel intimidated by his presence, by his leadership.
"I don't see a person that's your mentor and is there for you when you're struggling as an intimidating person."
Jose Altuve reiterated Correa's viewpoint Thursday.
"Carlos was never a bad teammate," Altuve said in Spanish, per ESPN. "Never took advantage of his status of having 20 years in MLB, what should be a Hall of Fame career, to steamroll anybody."