Former MLB Executive Comments On Altuve Speculation

There is speculation that Jose Altuve wore an electronic device under his uniform to steal signs

Zach Gelb
January 17, 2020 - 10:23 am
Jose Altuve World Series

USA Today Images


There is growing speculation, at least on social media, that Astros second baseman Jose Altuve wore an electronic device under his jersey to help steal signs. After hitting a walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS, Altuve insisted that his jersey not be ripped off. Many wonder if that is because he was wearing an electronic device on his chest to steal signs.

“When I saw it, I said to myself, ‘If this is true, this does take the sign-stealing scandal into a different stratosphere if a player is wearing a buzzer,’” former MLB executive David Samson said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I remember immediately Jose Altuve saying, ‘Don’t take off my jersey.’ I remember the interview he did after the game, after the walk-off home run against Chapman, where he said, ‘My wife doesn’t like it when my jersey comes off.’ I remember that clear as day, and I remember thinking how weird that is because I’ve met Jose Altuve, and when you’ve got a body like Altuve, it’s not the end of the world for people to see [your body]. It’s not like me getting my shirt ripped off where I have a zero pack. 

“So that does not mean, to me, that he wore a buzzer,” Samson continued. “It does not mean, to me, that it happened. But I started thinking, man, if something like that happened, MLB needs to immediately quash it, and if they don’t quash it, then we know this scandal has major legs. But MLB has since come out in a statement to completely quash it.”

Indeed, Altuve has denied ever wearing an electronic device, and MLB said there is no evidence to suggest that is untrue.

If evidence emerges to the contrary, however, Altuve could be in a world of hurt.

“The reason players don’t get punished for certain things is they’re protected by the collective bargaining agreement; there’s a limit to punishments you can give,” Samson said. “But if this scandal continues to grow, if other players come out and all of a sudden there’s a preponderance of the evidence that players were wearing wireless or wired devices, the commissioner will have to do something about it.”