Through his agent, Scott Boras, Houston Astros star Jose Altuve denied using an electronic device in order to steal signs from opposing pitchers.
A person claiming to be Carlos Beltran's niece alleged Thursday that Altuve and teammate Alex Bregman wore a buzzer that would indicate the type of pitch coming during an at-bat. According to ESPN's Marly Rivera, the person in question isn't actually related to Beltran:
Marly Rivera @MarlyRiveraESPN
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. https://t.co/2vTdiqGvl4
The New York Post's Joel Sherman reached out to Boras, who provided a statement on Altuve's behalf regarding the matter:
Fans on Twitter pointed out that the six-time All-Star explicitly told his teammates not to rip off his jersey as he was heading to home plate after his walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman in the 2019 American League Championship Series.
The obvious implication from those sensing a conspiracy was that Altuve didn't want a wearable device to be discovered by the television cameras.
Boras addressed that specific allegation as well:
Following an investigation, MLB confirmed the Astros used a video room in an attempt to illegally decode the catcher's signs to opposing pitchers. Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow received one-year suspensions and were subsequently fired by the team.
As part of the investigation, the league had looked into whether team employees were communicating the signs to players through the use of buzzers or another device.
"I will tell you this: we found no Band-Aid buzzer issues," Commissioner Rob Manfred said to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. "There's a lot of paranoia out there."