Jose Altuve hears chorus of boos, grazed by pitch in spring training debut

Jose Altuve should probably get used to this.

The Houston Astros second baseman took the batter’s box on Monday for the first time since news of his team’s sign-stealing scandal broke.

He was not warmly welcomed. Fans in the stands for the Astros’ Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers greeted Altuve with a chorus of boos.

Cold reception for Altuve

HBP not believed to be intentional

Altuve was also grazed by a pitch from Tigers reliever Nick Ramirez, an instance first-year manager Dusty Baker brushed off as incidental.

“He was hit in the foot,” Baker told reporters. “That ain’t nothing, you know what I mean? It wasn’t intentional.”

Intentional or not, inside pitches are a fact of life Altuve and his teammates should be prepared for alongside the boos, which weren’t the first they’ve heard this spring.

While the facts around Altuve’s involvement in the Astros cheating scandal remain unclear, theories range from “he was wearing a nipple buzzer that was tipping pitches” to “he was one of the only Astros not actively participating in the scandal.”

In the face of that uncertainly, the default will likely be to assume guilt. That assumption will come with vitriol from road fans.

Other Astros booed as well

According to the Associated Press, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel also regularly faced boos in the 11-1 Astros win that was their first spring training game away from their own complex.

Altuve also received some cheers — when he was charged with a fielding error.

“We just heard a lot of noise, and that's it,” Altuve said, per the Associated Press.

The Astros need to be ready for a lot of noise for the foreseeable future.

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Houston Astros' Jose Altuve runs to first base after getting hit with a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A fan holds a sign during a spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Washington Nationals fans boo as Houston Astros players walk onto the field for a spring training baseball game in West Palm Beach, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)
A ballpark official takes a sign from a fan before spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) waits for a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals to start Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Fans reacts as the Houston Astros are introduced before facing the Washington Nationals in spring training baseball game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Manager Dusty Baker Jr. #12 of the Houston Astros looks on prior to the spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 22, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Members of the Houston Astros look on during a spring training workout on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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