The Houston Astros would be the solely crew in Main League Baseball with zero illustration on the 2021 All-Star Sport in spite of everything 4 of their All-Stars: Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, and Ryan Pressly opted out of the Midsummer Basic for varied causes.
Carlos Correa will miss the sport after being placed on the team’s injured list previous to yesterday’s sport towards the Yankees as a result of COVID-19 well being and security protocols. Altuve will use the All-Star Break to relaxation a minor leg problem. Brantley may also be utilizing the time to relaxation an damage, and Pressly is taking paternity depart to be together with his pregnant spouse.
All of those look like regular points that will benefit stepping away, however when you look just a little nearer, all of those points are just a little suspect. Let me clarify.
Except you’ve been residing below a rock for the final 12 months and a half, you’ve most likely heard in regards to the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. To make a protracted story quick, the Houston Astros cheated to win the 2017 World Collection utilizing a digicam system to steal opposing pitchers’ indicators. Baseball followers weren’t too thrilled with the invention, and have been even much less thrilled on the truth the no gamers have been punished for his or her blatant disrespect of the sport. In whole, for dishonest their option to a World Collection title, the Astros have been fined $5 million and have been docked a number of draft picks. That’s it. The Astros fired their GM and manager for his or her half within the scandal, however these firings have been solely the choices of the Astros group and never Main League Baseball. For the reason that information of this scandal broke, baseball followers have been in search of each alternative to heckle the crew and its former gamers. Sadly, followers didn’t get that chance in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. No followers have been allowed in stadiums, and due to this fact, no followers have been there to boo the Astros each time they took the sector. Due to this fact, the Astros’ disgrace tour defaulted to 2021, and followers have been ruthless.
Even former Astros are being heckled of their new dwelling ballparks.
As you’ll be able to think about, the Astros don’t admire all of the hate being thrown their manner. A number of members of that notorious 2017 crew have publicly acknowledged that they don’t believe they deserve to be labeled the villains of baseball. As a lot because the Astros have been heckled and hated since 2020, there has nonetheless by no means been a possibility to take action on a nationwide scale. The Astros have been within the ALCS final season, however since no followers have been allowed within the stadiums for AL playoff video games, there actually hasn’t been an opportunity for followers to twist the knife into the edges of the Astros at a serious occasion. The 2021 All-Star Sport in Colorado was imagined to be that occasion. Nevertheless, since no Astro is collaborating, that chance has been stripped away from the followers. That begs the query: “Did the Astros pull out for worry of the backlash they’d obtain on the occasion?” And truthfully, that may be the case.
Of the 4 Astros chosen to the All-Star Sport, solely two of them have been on the 2017 World Collection roster: Altuve and Correa. They have been the first two Astros to opt out of the All-Star Game. Altuve is opting out of the sport to relaxation a “nagging leg problem.” Effectively, that’s fascinating. If this leg problem is such an issue, why did he play the whole thing of last night’s game towards the Yankees? The truth is, Altuve hasn’t missed a sport all week! You possibly can’t inform me that it’s as a result of this sport issues. Sure, that’s the case, however the season is 162 video games lengthy, and lacking one or two video games wouldn’t vastly have an effect on your crew’s possibilities particularly when your crew has one of the best run differential in baseball and is 4.5 games ahead of the second-place crew in your division. To not point out that any crew would gladly let certainly one of their star gamers relaxation for a number of days to verify they have been one hundred pc for the rest of the season. Plus, if Altuve has actually been coping with this nagging leg problem for a while like he says, why did it solely simply come up every week earlier than the All-Star Sport? Appears just a little fishy.
As for Correa, the Astros’ shortstop will miss the sport as a result of a illness. Astros supervisor Dusty Baker mentioned that he’s “day-to-day” together with his sickness. Nevertheless, that’s not why the shortstop is opting out of the All-Star Sport. Previous to falling ailing, Correa mentioned he was selecting to sit down out the All-Star Sport with a purpose to attend a health care provider’s appointment together with his pregnant spouse.
The opposite two Astros’ choices to skip the All-Star Sport make just a little extra sense. Michael Brantley has a history of battling injuries and has been coping with facet soreness since July 3. The truth is, Brantley missed three video games between July 3 and 5 with a purpose to get well from his ailment. That being mentioned, Brantley has performed in every of the Astros’ final 4 contests. I’m positive if he actually needed to play within the Midsummer Basic, he would.
Astros’ reliever Ryan Pressly, however, shall be utilizing the 4 days off for paternity depart. His spouse is way later in her being pregnant than Correa’s. Nevertheless, his spouse’s due date is July 30 — greater than two weeks after the sport, although infants should not recognized for all the time arriving on time.
Moreover, MLB gamers are allowed simply 72 hours for paternity leave, and with a purpose to qualify for paternity depart, the childbirth should both be imminent or have occurred inside the final 48 hours. I doubt a due date virtually 20 days away would qualify as imminent. Why wouldn’t Pressly decide to take paternity depart nearer to his child’s anticipated due date? Maybe there’s been an replace together with his little one that the general public isn’t conscious of. It’s doable.
If neither Pressly nor Brantley have been members of the 2017 Astros crew, what would they should worry? Why would followers go after them for the crimes of others? You’d be shocked. With Correa and Altuve out for the sport, followers would doubtless be in search of any purpose to verbally berate the Astros, even when it meant going after gamers who weren’t concerned within the scandal in any respect. We’ve seen followers throughout all sports activities due some fairly dumb issues since ballparks, arenas, and coliseums opened again up. We’ve seen followers throw things at players. We’ve seen a number of fans run out onto the playing areas. So to assume that followers, particularly ones who don’t understand that neither Brantley nor Pressly have been on the Astros in 2017, wouldn’t heckle the 2 of them appears just a little too hopeful.
It is sensible that the Astros would need to keep away from this sport over others. The All-Star Sport is only a image. It doesn’t imply something in the long term. There’s zero likelihood these gamers would decide out of a sport with critical playoff implications. Due to this fact, if these 4 have been to take any days off for worry of being heckled into the shadow realm, now can be the time to take action. Clearly, that is all purely hypothesis, however from what we all know, these choices appear just a little too suspicious to be mere coincidences.