One aspect of the stupidest Houston Astros conspiracy theory (we hope) has been resolved. Jose Altuve does indeed have a tattoo on his left collarbone, giving Carlos Correa’s bad tattoo defense some legitimacy.
The 29-year-old Altuve revealed his tattoo Monday in dramatic fashion. With reporters gathered near Altuve’s locker, Altuve removed his shirt to show everyone he actually had a tattoo.
The full play-by-play:
A scrum formed around Carlos Correa's locker, which is adjacent to Jose Altuve's. Altuve entered the clubhouse, noticed and removed his shirt, placing it over his left shoulder. He walked to his locker — and the scrum — and took the shirt off his shoulder.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 17, 2020
If you don’t know why this suddenly matters, you should be thankful. The Altuve tattoo situation became a story after Correa suggested Altuve didn’t want his teammates to rip off his jersey following his American League Championship Series walk-off home run due to a “terrible” tattoo.
Rumors that the Astros used electronic buzzers to steal signs in 2019 haven’t been proven, but Altuve’s actions following that home run have fueled that speculation. As Altuve rounded third base, he told teammates not to rip off his jersey. After crossing the plate, Altuve immediately ran into the Astros’ clubhouse and changed shirts. During a post-game interview with Ken Rosenthal, Altuve said his wife didn’t like it when Astros players ripped off Altuve’s jersey.
Twitter sleuthing revealed Altuve did have a tattoo on his left collarbone during the World Series, so any conspiracy theories about Altuve going out and getting a tattoo to cover Correa’s lie are unfounded.
The question that remained, however, is what was so terrible about the tattoo that Altuve was ashamed to show it? Thanks to Monday’s reveal, we now know that Altuve’s tattoo reads “Melanie.” That’s Altuve’s daughter’s name.
That doesn’t sound “terrible” as Correa suggested, though there are reasons Altuve would want that tattoo covered up. It’s possible the name was initially not spelled correctly or the tattoo artist put the wrong name on Altuve’s chest. It’s also possible Altuve wants his daughter to maintain some level of privacy. Those aren’t the most convincing explanations for Altuve not wanting his shirt ripped off, but they are plausible.
So, where does this leave us? The only thing confirmed early Monday is that Altuve didn’t run out to get a surprise tattoo. We still don’t know if Correa’s “terrible” tattoo defense holds water, and we don’t know why Altuve would be embarrassed to let that tattoo be seen during the ALCS.
Answers might not be far off. Altuve is scheduled to speak with the media following the team’s workout Monday. That interview should set an MLB record for most questions asked about a player’s tattoo.
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