What a coincidence! No Astros will play in the All-Star Game

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Both Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are skipping the All-Star Game.

Each Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are skipping the All-Star Recreation.
Picture: Getty Photographs

The Houston Astros would be the solely crew in Main League Baseball with zero illustration on the 2021 All-Star Recreation in any case 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 positioned on the crew’s injured record previous to yesterday’s recreation in opposition to the Yankees as a consequence of COVID-19 well being and security protocols. Altuve will use the All-Star Break to relaxation a minor leg difficulty. Brantley can even be utilizing the time to relaxation an harm, and Pressly is taking paternity go away to be together with his pregnant spouse.

All of those appear to be regular points that may benefit stepping away, however if you happen to look a bit nearer, all of those points are a bit suspect. Let me clarify.

Except you’ve been dwelling underneath a rock for the final 12 months and a half, you’ve in all probability heard in regards to the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. To make an extended story quick, the Houston Astros cheated to win the 2017 World Collection utilizing a digital camera system to steal opposing pitchers’ indicators. Baseball followers weren’t too thrilled with the invention, and have been even much less thrilled on the reality the no gamers have been punished for his or her blatant disrespect of the sport. In complete, for dishonest their strategy 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 supervisor for his or her half within the scandal, however these firings have been solely the selections of the Astros group and never Main League Baseball. Because the information of this scandal broke, baseball followers have been on the lookout for each alternative to heckle the crew and its former gamers. Sadly, followers didn’t get that chance in 2020 as a consequence of COVID-19. No followers have been allowed in stadiums, and subsequently, no followers have been there to boo the Astros each time they took the sphere. Subsequently, the Astros’ disgrace tour defaulted to 2021, and followers have been ruthless.

Even former Astros are being heckled of their new house ballparks.

As you may think about, the Astros don’t respect all of the hate being thrown their manner. A number of members of that notorious 2017 crew have publicly said that they don’t imagine they should 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 significant occasion. The 2021 All-Star Recreation in Colorado was alleged 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 Recreation, solely two of them have been on the 2017 World Collection roster: Altuve and Correa. They have been the primary two Astros to choose out of the All-Star Recreation. Altuve is opting out of the sport to relaxation a “nagging leg difficulty.” Effectively, that’s attention-grabbing. If this leg difficulty is such an issue, why did he play everything of final night time’s recreation in opposition to the Yankees? In reality, Altuve hasn’t missed a recreation all week! You may’t inform me that it’s as a result of this recreation 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 probabilities particularly when your crew has the most effective run differential in baseball and is 4.5 video games forward of the second-place crew in your division. To not point out that any crew would gladly let one in every of their star gamers relaxation for just a few 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 difficulty for a while like he says, why did it solely simply come up every week earlier than the All-Star Recreation? Appears a bit fishy.

As for Correa, the Astros’ shortstop will miss the sport as a consequence 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 Recreation. Previous to falling in poor health, Correa mentioned he was selecting to sit down out the All-Star Recreation with a view to attend a physician’s appointment together with his pregnant spouse.

The opposite two Astros’ selections to skip the All-Star Recreation make a bit extra sense. Michael Brantley has a historical past of battling accidents and has been coping with aspect soreness since July 3. In reality, Brantley missed three video games between July 3 and 5 with a view to recuperate from his ailment. That being mentioned, Brantley has performed in every of the Astros’ final 4 contests. I’m positive if he actually wished to play within the Midsummer Basic, he would.

Astros’ reliever Ryan Pressly, then again, might be utilizing the 4 days off for paternity go away. His spouse is far 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 are usually not identified for at all times arriving on time.

Moreover, MLB gamers are allowed simply 72 hours for paternity go away, and with a view to qualify for paternity go away, the childbirth should both be imminent or have occurred inside the final 48 hours. I doubt a due date nearly 20 days away would qualify as imminent. Why wouldn’t Pressly choose to take paternity go away 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 stunned. With Correa and Altuve out for the sport, followers would probably be on the lookout for 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 issues at gamers. We’ve seen a number of followers run out onto the taking part in areas. So to suppose 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 a bit too hopeful.

It is sensible that the Astros would wish to keep away from this recreation over others. The All-Star Recreation is only a image. It doesn’t imply something in the long term. There’s zero probability these gamers would choose out of a recreation with critical playoff implications. Subsequently, 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 selections appear a bit too suspicious to be mere coincidences.

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