After all these years, I don’t know what else to say about Jose Altuve. My poor words could not add a thing that his actions as a player and as a man of high moral character haven’t already said with eloquence beyond my limited vocabulary.
These last two days, he has somehow outdone himself. Four home runs in four consecutive innings. Five home runs in six AB in the midst of seven consecutive hits.
Here are the two he hit on Monday, plus his two other hits.
And here are the three he hit yesterday.
The national media is all abuzz. After an orgy of undeserved hate against one of the truly good people you’ll ever meet on this planet Earth, they are finally offering their begrudging credit to the no-doubt future Hall-of-Famer. And about time. It’s hard to imagine an athlete whose success is so purely a product of character and sheer willpower. More than any other athlete I know, Jose Altuve is the one a father points to when he says, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”
Here is what national commentator, Joe Sheehan, had to say:
Are you kidding me? Going back to Monday, Jose Altuve hit four homers in four at-bats over four consecutive innings. Sarah Langs reported, via Elias, that he’s the first player in the expansion era to homer in four straight innings.
Altuve had his right thumb broken in the World Baseball Classic and has fought nagging injuries since his return. At 33, though, he’s not showing any decline at the plate: .321/.406/.563 in 68 games, 13-for-15 stealing bases. ...
Altuve has reasonable chances at 3,000 hits and 300 homers. He has the kind of markers — batting titles, an MVP, rings, a fantastic postseason hitting record — that would usually make for a better Hall of Fame case. We’re a decade removed from the sign-stealing conversation. By all accounts, Altuve didn’t want the signals, though he has to be pinned with some culpability for allowing it to happen. It seems to me that by 2032 or whenever, his greatness as a player will be what carries the day, rather than his involvement in the banging scheme ($1, Meg Rowley).
Thank you, Joe. Except how is one 5’6’’ man supposed to stop 15 other grown-ass men from doing what they are hell-bent on doing? The manager couldn't even stop it. It was baseball legend Carlos Beltran who started it, and it was pushed by the assistant coach, Alex Cora. I give credit to the strength and morality of any person who could resist the enormous pressure to go along.
Even the Rangers announcement team had to give their reluctant, humorous praise.
Here’s what Rangers announcer Dave Raymond had to say, tongue in cheek.
“Well, hear me out on this …,” Raymond said while the Astros led 9-0 in the fifth inning. “You’re sitting there bragging about his six hits. I would just say: I mean, it’s easy to get six hits when you hit them over the fence. This idea that you don’t give the other team a chance to even get you out. So, it’s not that great.”
Nitkowski went along with the bit, saying as Altuve grounded out, “I think you bring up a good point. He couldn’t do it there.”
Raymond, who worked on the Astros radio broadcasts from 2006 to 2012, kept it going, pointing out Altuve’s single on Monday in which he got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
“Right. I mean, if he’d give the Rangers a chance, I think they could very well get him,” Raymond said. “Even the base hit he had that he kept in the yard the other day, we threw him out at second. So, I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m impressed yet.”
After about 70 seconds, Raymond finally cracked.
“No, I’m impressed,” he said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
We literally love Jose Altuve. I know I do. I might just go to Cooperstown the day he joins the Astros trinity.