MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 29: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros congratulates teammate Carlos Beltran #15 on a three-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of the game on May 29, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Astros defeated the Twins 16-8.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Carlos Correa is pushing back against reports that Carlos Beltran bullied Houston Astros players into going along with sign-stealing.

On Tuesday, The Athletic reported that Carlos Beltran was the ringleader of the Houston Astros scandal. The report painted Beltran as a boogeyman who bullied the Astros’ clubhouse into following his plan to cheat.

This was already ridiculous for a number of reasons. The biggest being that the plan to cheat began before Beltran arrived in Houston and continued after he left. Still, the narrative that Beltran was the main culprit continues to fester. Astros shortstop Carlos Correa pushed back against that report.

“The thing I have a problem with when I read that report is that we’re scared of [Beltran] or feel intimidated,” Correa said. “We didn’t feel scared of Beltran or intimidated. He was the nicest guy that we could ever have and he was the best teammate we ever had.

“Beltran was a leader of the clubhouse, but we all had a say in everything that we were doing in there. Whatever he said, whatever we were doing, we had the chance to stop it as a team, everybody. … Whoever the anonymous source is who said that we felt intimidated or were too young to just say something, that’s just straight up bulls—.”

It’s great to see Correa take responsibility for his role in the scandal. The Astros cheated, not just Carlos Beltran. It was the whole team working together from the front office down.

The effort to pin this on the former New York Mets manager is absurd. This is the third time now that The Athletic and MLB have mentioned Beltran without mentioning any other player specifically. Yet, MLB specifically said in their report that this was a player-driven plot.

It seems that MLB wants to have their cake and eat it too here. They want to say the Astros organization didn’t do this. It was all the players while simultaneously arguing that the players were forced into it.

Nobody can stop them because the retired Beltran is no longer a part of the MLBPA and therefore, he’s an easy target.

Only time will tell how much this scandal will hurt Beltran’s legacy. Hopefully, he won’t be the only person facing long term repercussions from this scandal because he doesn’t deserve to shoulder the blame alone.

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