Noah Syndergaard took a playful swipe at the Astros after his Mets teammates trolled him by working out shirtless during Saturday’s workout at Port St. Lucie.
The right-hander retweeted a video posted by the Mets of the team working out shirtless with the following message: “Some assembly required. Buzzers not included.”
This in reference to the rumor that spread that Jose Altuve was wearing a buzzer under his jersey during the 2019 ALCS when he hit a walk-off home run to send the Houston Astros past the New York Yankees and to the World Series. This came after the sign-stealing cheating scandal was first publicized by Oakland Athletics pitcher Fiers in November.
Responding to criticism by Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Astros shortsop Carlos Correa vehemently denied on Saturday that Altuve used a buzzer to gain an advantage, adding that his double-play partner did not cheat at all.
“The few times that the trash can was banged was without his consent and he would go inside the clubhouse and inside the dugout to whoever was banging the trash can and he would get pissed,” Correa told The Athletic. “He would get mad. He would say, ‘I don’t want this. I can’t hit like this. Don’t you do that to me.’ He played the game clean.
“He didn’t want to take his shirt off because his wife had told my wife earlier in the year for me to not to do that. So he was telling me not to do it. … He had an unfinished tattoo that looked kind of bad, that he didn’t want people to see and people to talk about. That was the reason. … Altuve has never cheated.”
As for Syndergaard, what did he think about the prank his teammates played on him?
“I’m thrilled that the joke was on me,” he said.
At one point, Syndergaard ran around the practice field and picked up the jerseys, running off with them.
“I think everyone is guilty there,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “A little fun by teammates, knowing Noah. It was a collaboration prank by the team and I think they delivered.”
— additional reporting by Joel Sherman and Mike Puma