Terrible takes. Twitter conspiracy theories. More alleged Cheating. What really happened? Here’s what went down on Thursday.
MLB twitter was in flames on Thursday after a series of moves and tweets were released. I decided to give it a few days before I attempted to decipher what happened, and here is my personal interpretation.
After the MLB handed out their punishment to the Houston Astros earlier in the week, a sense of uneasiness filled the air. Many were upset and baffled at the punishment (myself included). A team had set up an elaborate system to get an advantage which led to a World Series title and the league decided not to punish a single player. Instead they hit the Manager and GM with a year suspension each, as well as stripping the team of first and second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 respectively. So the baseball world had to accept the punishment and await for the Alex Cora ruling, which has yet to be released.
So while the community fumed, ESPN analyst and Mets front office employee Jessica Mendoza stirred the pot after her comments about the current Houston Astros scandal. Thursday morning, she went on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and gave her opinion on pitcher Mike Fiers. Fiers was on a member of the 2017 Houston Astros and was the first former player to admit that the team had cheated. Respect or hate his decision, his actions led to the public becoming aware of the darkness going on behind the scenes. He put a light on the cheating that plagues the league. Golic and Wingo tweeted out Mendoza’s controversial opinion.
Translation: snitches get stitches. But, is she serious? To clarify, Mendoza was upset that Fiers admitted a team was cheating and ruined the integrity of the game, and not the fact that the Astros were in the wrong? Fiers gave others the courage to step up and speak out on what is going behind the scenes. But instead he got lambasted on TV. Fiers actions have led to others stepping up and admitting to hidden scandals. Twitter had a field day with Mendoza’s opinion and acted in kind. Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post put it the best.
While giving an awful take, Mendoza was committing a conflict of interest. MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred mandated that none of the other organizations were allowed to speak on the scandal or punishment. But Mendoza, who works for the Mets decided she was above the rule.
But this was just the tip of the iceberg. Shortly after, the New York Mets announced that new manager Carlos Beltran was stepping down. He had yet to manage a game for the team, but was caught up in the Astros scandal. The MLB commissioner made it clear that none of the players involved would be held responsible. Instead the Mets did not want to deal with the controversy and bailed on the former player.
While the move was expected, the source that broke the news was what is intriguing. Someone on twitter claiming to be “Carlos Beltran’s niece”, announced the day before that he had stepped down.
This same twitter account had announced the day before it happened that Carlos Beltran had been hired to be the new Mets manager. After these tweets were passed around Twitter, many were skeptical because after all it’s Twitter. Anyone can make a fake account and claim to be someone they are not. But then his “niece” dropped a major bomb that shook Twitter to it’s core. A popular baseball user Jomboy tweeted the news with some clarity of his own.
When I first saw this, I was in shock. Immediately my mind was racing with thoughts and emotions as I was left picking my jaw off the floor. There is no way this could be real, could there? Were the Astros really wearing buzzers during the 2019 playoffs? Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman off all people? Why? They are both top five at their position. Neither would need an edge to beat opposing pitchers. Jomboy who had become popular for bringing forth video and audio evidence for the Astros trashcans claimed he had different sources tell him the same thing. Shortly after pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted out he had been told the same thing.
After the disbelief began to fade, past photos and videos began to trend on Twitter defending the “nieces” tweets. One of the first photos to trend was of Jose Altuve. He had a bulge on his shoulder under his jersey during the 2017 World Series. Many began to speculate it was said buzzer. Twitter user Boy Howdy gave his thoughts.
Another photo arrived with what looked like a buzzer on Josh Reddick.
It turns out it was a piece of confetti from the celebration. But the train had left the station and the Twitter sleuths were set on getting to the bottom of this. Remember that picture of the bulge on Jose Altuve? Well in the 2019 ALCS, Altuve took Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman deep for a walkoff homer that sent the Astros back to the World Series. As Altuve rounded third and headed home, he yelled at his teammates not to rip off his jersey. He then grabbed it as to protect it right before he was mobbed. Ken Rosenthal interviewed Altuve afterwords and asked what this was about. Another Twitter sleuth by the name of Kyle NYY tweeted out the interview.
When I first watched this interview live after the game I thought nothing of it. But then skepticism slowly started to creep into my mind. Another video was posted that showed Altuve sprinting towards the locker-room as his team celebrated their ALCS crown. Why would he be the one player not celebrating. The popular theory is that he was getting rid of his buzzer before he was in front of the media.
Now take this as you will. After all, Twitter was on fire and everyone was grasping at straws. You can make the evidence makes sense and that the Astros were involved in some even shadier business then originally thought.
As the Twitter sleuths started to uncover past plays from the 2019 playoffs, the Beltran family gave a statement claiming that girl wasn’t his niece.
Burner accounts? What is this, the NBA? Now this is just getting out of hand.
The craziest day in baseball Twitter history concluded with current players tweeting out their thoughts on the whole ordeal. Reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger was just one of many players to leave his thoughts. He tweeted out the following.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger followed suit.
The integrity of the game was spit on, and the players were lied to. Something will have to be fixed. Now baseball Twitter has started to simmer, but it is hard to beat what occurred on Thursday.
The MLB claimed in their initial report that they looked into the buzzers and found no evidence. But with the news all over Twitter, the MLB will have a hard time calming down the situation. Take what was said in this article however you will. Believe it. Laugh at it. Ignore it. But just know, this is just the beginning.