In the eyes of Major League Baseball, members of the Houston Astros did not wear electronic devices to help them steal signs from opposing pitchers.
On Thursday, the league confirmed it "explored wearable devices during the investigation [into the Astros] but found no evidence to substantiate it," per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. The investigation went as far as to see if players were wearing the concealed devices to notify them of the type of pitch during the 2019 campaign.
The notion members of the Astros were doing just that picked up steam on social media Thursday when a person claiming to be Carlos Beltran's niece alleged Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman wore the buzzers under their jerseys.
Altuve released a statement through his agent, Scott Boras, saying he did not wear the electronic device, per the New York Post's Joel Sherman:
Social media users circulated footage of Altuve telling his teammates not to rip his jersey off after he hit a walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Championship Series, fueling speculation he wanted to further conceal the buzzer:
Sherman noted Boras said, "that is the shyness of Jose Altuve" when explaining why the six-time All-Star did not want his teammates to rip his jersey off.
The sign-stealing scandal surrounding the Astros has dominated headlines in the baseball world. As Gonzalez pointed out, former Astros manager AJ Hinch, former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, Beltran and former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora all lost their jobs as a result. Hinch and Luhnow were also suspended by MLB for one year.
Beltran was a player on the 2017 Astros World Series championship team that was determined to have used electronic means to steal signs, while Cora was the bench coach.
Houston was also fined $5 million and lost its first- and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021.