Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger believes Jose Altuve “stole” the MVP from New York Yankees star Aaron Judge in 2017.
Jose Altuve defeated then-rookie Aaron Judge by a wide margin for the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2017. The New York Yankees‘ star took home Rookie of the Year honors but finished second in MVP voting.
While it could be argued that Judge should have won the award anyway, Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger believes his fellow outfielder was cheated out of winning because of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing throughout that season.
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“I thought the apologies were whatever. I thought (Astros owner) Jim Crane’s was weak. I thought (MLB Commissioner Rob) Manfred’s punishment was weak, giving them immunity. I mean these guys were cheating for three years,” Bellinger told reporters before brining up Judge.
“I think what people don’t realize is (Jose) Altuve stole an MVP from (Aaron) Judge in ’17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us,” Bellinger seethed.
In 2017, Judge beat Altuve in home runs, RBI, runs, OPS, walks, extra-base hits, wRC+, defensive runs saved, and UZR. Altuve had a higher batting average, more hits, fewer strikeouts, and more stolen bases.
According to signstealingscandal.com, Altuve benefitted from trash-can banging on 24 occasions, which accounted for 2.8% of the bangs throughout the season, the second-lowest percentage of anyone on the team. Altuve also slashed .381/.449/.633 on the road that season, while his numbers at home were .311/.371/.463.
Judge congratulated the Astros’ second baseman on winning the award in an Instagram post, but that post has since been deleted.
Bellinger lost a second-consecutive World Series in 2018 to the Boston Red Sox, who are currently being investigated for a sign-stealing scandal of their own. His frustration is understandable given his team’s near-misses in the World Series.