Carlos Correa has stepped up to the plate to defend his Houston Astros teammate, Jose Altuve

During a conversation with The Athletic, Correa shot back at the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger, who condemned the Astros—specifically Jose Altuve. 

"So when [Bellinger] talks about that we cheated for three years, he either doesn’t know how to read, is really bad at reading comprehension or is just not informed at all," Correa said. 

Earlier this week, Bellinger went on the offensive against the Astros. He claimed that the punishment from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was "weak" because it granted the players immunity. Bellinger feels that the signal stealing allowed players like Jose Altuve to gain undeserving awards and recognition.

"Those guys were cheating for three years," Bellinger said. "I think what people don't realize is [Jose] Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in 2017. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us. But it's over."

In 2017, Judge had more RBIs, home runs, and runs than Altuve. He was also walked a record 127 times. Yet Altuve had an edge in batting average and significantly fewer strikes outs than Judge. This led critics to believe that Altuve was a more worthy American League MVP because he was more efficient. But some now contribute this efficiency to Altuve knowing the pitches. 

Although Correa admits to cheating the year Altuve won the MVP, he insists that the Astros played clean in 2018 when they won the World Series over Bellinger and the Dodgers.

"2018, we played clean," Correa said. "2019, we got to a World Series playing clean baseball all around."

Correa also insisted that Altuve wasn't part of the trash can, signal stealing scenario. He even claimed that Altuve would be "pissed" if someone banged a trash can while he was at-bat.

Bellinger addressed all of these excuses in his rant. He points to the fact that Altuve didn't want his shirt ripped after sending his team to the World Series with a walk-off homer in the 2019 ALCS as proof he was wearing a buzzer and evidence that the Astros were cheating in 2019. To this, Correa claims that Altuve had a horrible tattoo that he didn't want the world to see. That's why he was never seen with his shirt off. 

"Altuve has played the game clean. Always. Always. He earned the MVP. He hit that home run off Chapman fair and square. He was not wearing buzzers," Correa said. "He’s got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible."

But, there are shirtless pictures of Altuve on his Instagram August where there's no tattoo in sight.

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