Next time you hear some Altuve slander, here’s the perfect response

Next time you hear some Altuve slander, here’s the perfect response
Jose Altuve's numbers speak for themselves.Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

Yeah, yeah, Jose Altuve's .274 batting average this year is 30 points below his career mark. His strikeouts are up and his stolen bases are down. And sometimes he bounces the ball on throws to first base. Perhaps the critics are right, Altuve may never get back to his MVP numbers.

But let's step back and appreciate the wonder of Jose Altuve who, mind you, is only 31 years old. He's still producing big time. He's the Astros leadoff home run leader. They're in first place in the American League West and headed toward another post-season run with Altuve gunning the engine.

Stop nitpicking Altuve. After 10 years in the big leagues, all of them in Houston, there can be no doubt, he is greatest Houston Astro of all time.

The numbers are overwhelming and speak for themselves: .308 lifetime batting average, American League MVP, seven All-Star Games, one Hank Aaron Award, five Silver Slugger Awards, three batting titles, two stolen base titles, AP Male Athlete of the Year, Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year. They add up to first ballot Hall of Fame when his time comes, which doesn't appear anytime soon.

When it really counts, in the post-season, Altuve has a .306 batting average and a Ruthian 18 homers, including some Hollywood drama shots, in only 63 games. If you define greatness by championships, Altuve was the team driver and league MVP in 2017 when the Astros brought home their one and only World Series title.

Not to compare Altuve to the Astros two Hall of Famers, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, but really there is no comparison. Altuve has a higher career batting average (Bagwell .297, Biggio .281). Altuve has more All-Star appearances than Bagwell (4) and more stolen base titles than Biggio (1).

When it comes to the post-season, Altuve steps it up, while Bagwell and Biggio underperformed. Bagwell hit .226 with two homers in 33 post-season games, while Biggio hit .234 with two homers in 40 games.

Maybe most important of all, Altuve looks, walks and talks like Houston – a hardworking embodiment of our town's diversity, the shortest player in Major League Baseball who overcame tall obstacles to achieve greatness. He is the undisputed team leader, admired and beloved in the clubhouse. He's a girl dad, soft-spoken, shy, so easy to root for, and he delivers in the clutch so many times his game-winning homers could fill a Greatest Hits album. Nobody has ever accused Altuve of being aloof or selfish.

Team player? In the aftermath of the 2017 (and beyond) cheating scandal, the Astros deservingly, at least understandably, have become baseball's villains. As a weird testament to his greatness, Altuve became the poster boy for the Astros sign-stealing crime ring. Chants of "F-Altuve" fill road stadiums when he comes to bat.

But from everything we hear, Altuve didn't do it! He reportedly did not want to know what pitch was coming and told the trash can banger to knock it off when he came to bat. Asked if that's true, you didn't participate in the cheating, all Altuve will say is, we're a team, I'm part of the team. He's taking the "F-Altuve" bullet for the Astros.

Think how lucky we are. Today's Astros fans have the privilege of watching the greatest player in their team's history. How many other teams have their GOAT on the current roster? I can think of only one, the Angels with Mike Trout, that is if Trout ever gets back in the lineup. He seems to be on the Spirit Airlines departure schedule – "DELAYED, see agent Alex Bregman."

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Twins defeat Astros, 9-3. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images.

Jose Miranda matched a major league record with hits in 12 straight plate appearances and Byron Buxton and Brooks Lee homered leading the Minnesota Twins to a 9-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Miranda, playing third base, entered the game with the team-record of hits in 10 straight at-bats. The 26-year-old singled in his first two official at-bats Saturday and tied the MLB record set by the Chicago Cubs’ Johnny Kling (1902) and matched by Boston’s Pinky Higgins (1938) and Detroit’s Walt Dropo (1952). His streak ended in the sixth inning on a routine flyout to left field.

Willi Castro added three hits for Minnesota, which raced to a five-run lead in the first two innings and led 7-1 after three.

Jon Singleton hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who lost for just the third time in 16 games.

Joe Ryan (6-5) allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, earning the win after three straight no-decisions.

The Twins jumped all over Hunter Brown (6-6), who had been one of the hottest pitchers in the majors. Over his previous five starts, he allowed just one earned run and struck out 34 in 31 innings pitched.

Brown did manage to complete six innings for the ninth straight outing, but gave up seven runs on a season-high 12 hits.

Every Twins starter had at least one hit by the fourth inning. Castro singled in the first, doubled in the second and singled in the third.

Lee's two-run homer in the third inning was the first of his career. The Twins' No. 2 prospect was called up on Wednesday and has seven hits in his first four games.

Buxton hit a two-run shot in the seventh to give the Twins some breathing room after Houston had the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning.


Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (left wrist contusion) was out of the lineup a day after he was hit on the wrist by a pitch. X-rays were negative on Friday and he’s still considered day-to-day. … OF Yordon Alvarez was hit by a pitch on his right knee in the sixth inning. He remained in the game, but was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.


The series wraps up on Sunday with RHP Spencer Arrighetti (4-7, 6.13 ERA) of the Astros facing RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (3-1, 3.52) of the Twins. Arrighetti lasted just four innings in his last start, giving up six earned runs while waking four against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Woods Richardson has given up at least three earned runs in four of his last six starts.

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