WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Astros shortstop Carlos Correa came in on Carlos Beltran's defense on Thursday after Beltran was painted as a “steamrolling” leader in a report earlier this week in the Astros sign-stealing saga in 2017.
"I have a problem reading this report that we are afraid of it or feel intimidated," Correa said of Beltran at the Palm Beaches baseball stadium during the Astros apology tour. "We weren't afraid of Beltran or were intimidated. He was the kindest guy, the best team-mate we've ever had. Beltran was a clubhouse leader, but we all had a say in everything we did there. Whatever he said and whatever we did, we had a chance to stop it as a team, everyone, everyone had a chance to say something and we didn't.
"So whoever is the anonymous source who said we feel intimidated or we were too young to do something that is bulls -. Beltran did not intimidate anyone. Beltran is the nicest guy.
"I know people will say, 'Oh, he's just trying to protect him', but you can talk to every single man here who was here in 2017 – Beltran is a direct gentleman and nobody, not even You Nobody would be intimidated by his presence, his leadership and what he had to say. He showed us how to play baseball hard. He was a veteran. It was inspiring. Whenever we collapsed, he was there for us, so I don't see anyone looking after you or being there for you when you fight as an intimidating person, "said Correa.
According to a Tuesday report in The Athletic, Beltran was the ringleader when it came to the program, ignoring protests from some coaches and teammates. Beltran was appointed Mets manager this off-season, but lost the job when the details of the saga about stealing signs came to light.
Beltran joined Astros before the 2017 season after spending the past three years with the Yankees. According to The Athletic, when Beltran arrived in Houston, he told the organization that the methods of stealing signs were "behind the times".
Even when other players – including former Yankees teammate Brian McCann – advised Beltran to end the scam, Beltran declined, the report said.
"He ignored it and put everyone under steam," one of the team members told The Athletic. "Where do you go when you're a young, impressive player with the Astros and this guy says," We'll do it "? How's it going?"
Correa painted a completely different picture on Thursday.