While the Astros likely expected hostility from opposing fans at road games across the Grapefruit League, the first week of spring training has already seen the heckling unfold at the Astros’ home facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.
And it’s getting to the point where Astros players can’t ignore the noise.
During Sunday’s Grapefruit League game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Jose Altuve was waiting in the on-deck circle as a fan let the Astros star hear about the tainted 2017 American League MVP award.
This fan shouted at Altuve to give his MVP “back” to the 2017 runner-up Aaron Judge, and Altuve could be seen engaging with the fan’s heckling.
It’s only March 1st and things are starting to get chippy in the stands
Judge himself admitted that he deleted a congratulatory tweet to Altuve upon seeing the initial news of the Astros cheating scandal.
“They cheated. It didn’t sit well with me, and I just didn’t feel like the post that I did really meant the same anymore,” Judge said at Yankees spring training.
Though we can’t hear what Altuve said back to the fan, it’s not a particularly encouraging sign for the Astros if these remarks are getting to them a week into spring training. The games across the Grapefruit League typically present far more subdued atmospheres than what the Astros will see in the regular season.
And if that is getting under Altuve’s skin, you can only imagine what the 81 road games will be like this regular season.