After the Astros punched their ticket to the American League Division Series on Wednesday (by defeating the Minnesota Twins), Houston shortstop Carlos Correa used his post-game media availability session to address the team's critics. "I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don't want to see us here," he said, "but what are they going to say now?"
Predictably, given that the animosity stems from unfair advantage the Astros are believed to have gained through technological misconduct, Correa's comments were not well-received by many inside and outside the game.
That legion includes longtime New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, who addressed Correa's words as part of his R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruoco. "They cheated and then they're mad at us. Like get the f--- out of here," he said. "It's a f---ing joke. And then you finish under .500 this year. Like, shut the f--- up ... The kid's a clown, I'm sorry."
Sabathia, of course, was part of the Yankees team who lost to the Astros in the American League Championship Series last fall. He retired after the series concluded.
Sabathia wasn't done addressing Correa or the Astros, by the way. He called Correa a "clown" before conceding that he felt conflicted because of his relationship with Astros manager Dusty Baker. "He's like a big uncle, like that's my guy. So for him to be managing, I'm happy that he was able to win another playoff series. Shows how great of a manager he is. But man, f--- them dudes, man."
The Astros will begin their best-of-five Division Series against the Oakland Athletics on Monday. That series is intriguing for a number of reasons, including the fact that the Astros will be going against Mike Fiers, a former member of Houston's rotation who blew the whistle on their sign-stealing operation last November.