Astros’ Jose Altuve appears shirtless in locker room. Hey, look! A collarbone tattoo

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is held up after Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on Oct. 19.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

José Altuve is shy.

That’s what the Houston Astros second baseman said after he warned his teammates not to tear off his jersey following his American League Championship Series-clinching home run in October.

His agent, Scott Boras, offered the same explanation last month after some folks started speculating that Altuve was wearing a buzzer of some sort to receive stolen signs of opposing pitchers.

On Monday, however, a shirtless Altuve seemed to have no issue with parading past reporters in what appeared to be a response to yet another chapter in the Astros’ sign-stealing saga.


Two days earlier, Astros teammate Carlos Correa told Ken Rosenthal in an interview published by the Athletic that Altuve did not take part in the scheme (which, Correa said, did not involve buzzers).

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa lashes out at Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, who claimed the Astros “stole” a World Series ring from them in 2017.

Feb. 15, 2020

Correa said Altuve had two reasons for not wanting his shirt ripped. The first was that Altuve’s wife was unhappy when that happened earlier in the season.

The second, Correa said, was “because he’s got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible. It was a bad tattoo, and he didn’t want nobody to see it. He didn’t want to show it at all.”

Without saying a word about it Monday, Altuve made it clear to reporters that he does, in fact, have a tattoo on his left collarbone. It says “Melanie,” the name of his 3-year-old daughter, over a heart.


Altuve later told reporters that he got the tattoo during the middle of last season and it was done in two sections.

Of course, none of this does anything to disprove the buzzer theory. Altuve could have gotten the tattoo at any time during the last three months or so. Or he could have gotten it at some point before that game and also worn a buzzer. Or Correa’s account could be 100% accurate.

The only thing Monday’s locker room encounter actually shows is that Altuve really isn’t shy.