The early stages of spring training games suck. All that’s happening is star players getting one at-bat, aces throwing one inning against minor leaguers, and then 7 innings of no-name, slapdick prospects fumbling around the diamond. It’s horrible. There’s nothing going on besides fake hype, overreactions, and bad baseball. But this year, things are different. Thanks to the Houston Astros and their cheating scandal which has captivated the baseball world, their games somehow matter. Everyone wants to see them lose. Everyone wants to see them fail. You know who fans really want to see fail? Jose Altuve. Long hailed as one of the most likeable players in the game, as well as one of the most talented, Altuve has recently developed into one of the biggest villains in league history strictly by association to the scandal and by his putrid handling of said scandal.
With all that being said, How did fans welcome Altuve back in his first at-bat of the spring?
Inject this into my veins pic.twitter.com/BcZp0hrUo7
— Obsessed Dodgers Fan (@Dodgers_Blues) February 24, 2020
That may be the loudest crowd reaction you will ever hear in a spring training game. Tiger fans don’t have much going for them but man do they know how to ‘boo’ well. Altuve was able to block out the hate as he ripped a double down the left field line, but fans smelt blood in the water and went after him again in his second at bat. When Altuve fanned wildly on a fastball, the fans erupted in a reaction typically reserved for streakers and beach balls in the stands. It didn’t help when Altuve struck out looking on the very next pitch and the crowd went even wilder.
Jose Altuve really went from a player respected ALL around the League to a villain, this is going to happen all season long.
Via: Josh Frabotta pic.twitter.com/Jo95Piee0u
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) February 24, 2020
Altuve is also hearing it from random fathers in the stands about being a better role model for the kids. Okay?
— 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧 𝐆𝐫𝐲 👨🏻💻 (@JGrayCuse) February 24, 2020
Oh, and the icing on the shit cake? Altuve is ALREADY getting hit by pitches in SPRING TRAINING!
Jose Altuve gets hit by pitch and leaves game due to shyness pic.twitter.com/EsuVx1KV84
— Jimmy Cole (@JimmyRandazzo) February 24, 2020
Yeah, it was a breaking ball, but this is only a sign of things to come. If you’re getting drilled in your first spring training game by guys who are hoping and praying just to make a major league roster, imagine what established veterans are going to do?
Jose Altuve and the Astros are in for a LONG year. Sure, they’ll probably win 98+ games and make it to the ALCS but they’re going to get an earful along the way to go along with a ton of bruises.
Photo via Frank Franklin II/ AP Photos