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MLB shoots down Astros ‘buzzer’ conspiracy theories

Jose Altuve, Astros, MLB

MLB issued an official statement on Thursday following a rampant conspiracy theory stating Houston Astros players — notably Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman — wore electronic buzzers which played a role in deciphering pitch types.

Per Joel Sherman, the recent investigation of the Astros found “no evidence” to substantiate the notion of wearable devices, and that the investigation — predicated on sign-stealing in 2017 — also looked into 2019:

Altuve also denied everything:

The outpouring of social media posts follows a series of tweets by an account alleging to be Carlos Beltran’s niece (Beltran’s family has since denied these claims). The account posted about buzzers worn by Altuve and Bregman, and the theory has gained steam especially because said account also leaked details of Beltran’s hiring and firing before they were ever officially reported:

The video eliciting the most scrutiny is in the aftermath of Altuve’s walk-off homer against Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of the 2019 American League Championship Series, which sent the Astros to the Fall Classic. Altuve was insistent on holding onto his jersey, then immediately darted into the tunnel as the rest of his teammates celebrated on the field:

Of course, MLB’s dismissal of these claims is unlikely to put an end to the steady stream of posts, which likely played a role in uncovering the depth of the 2017 sign-stealing saga.

Regardless, these are troubling times for MLB. The league is still investigating wrongdoing by the Boston Red Sox in 2018, and the Astros investigation reportedly implicated seven other teams whose practices of sign-stealing using technology were well-known.

Beltran just stepped down as New York Mets manager, and this scandal is likely to be a storyline all the way up until Opening Day 2020.