Carlos Correa has a message for Cody Bellinger: The Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series "fair and square."
Bellinger made headlines Friday by ripping the Astros, who defeated the Dodgers in seven games to win that championship but have since been exposed for using a sign-stealing scheme in 2017 and part of 2018. "Everyone knows they stole the ring from us," the reigning National League most valuable player said.
Correa is one of many members of the Astros organization who expressed remorse Thursday for their roles in the scheme. But in an interview with Ken Rosenthal published Saturday by the Athletic, the shortstop was defending himself and his teammates from the anger directed their way by other players, Bellinger in particular.
"When I analyze all the games, we earned that championship," Correa said of the 2017 World Series. "We didn't steal it."
According to Correa, the Astros did not have the Dodgers' signs for that series because "World Series games are too important to use easy signs. There are Morse codes out there. There are signs that nobody can get. There are so many variations you can use, and nobody can get that."
He added that the deciding Game 7, won 5-1 by the Astros, took place at Dodger Stadium. "There was no trash can on the road, no cheating on the road," Correa said.
As far as who was to blame for the Dodgers' loss, Correa said: "When you look at the World Series, they left so many guys on base in Game 7, throughout the whole World Series. Cody didn't have a good World Series. For him to be talking about us stealing that championship, don't talk about it. You should not be talking about it. You should have done something about it. When you analyze the games, we won fair and square. We earned that championship."
Correa also addressed Bellinger's assertion that the Astros' Jose Altuve did not earn the NL MVP award he received in 2017.
"The reason Jose Altuve apologized to the media was for being part of the team and for not stopping it," Correa said. "But he's not apologizing for using the trash can. He's not apologizing for cheating because he did not cheat. ... Jose Altuve earned that MVP, and he's been showing that for years."
Correa added: "(Bellinger) said that they all lost respect for us. But that's not how life works. We all make mistakes. And because you make a mistake, people are not going to lose respect for you. It's how you confront those mistakes that you make. You've got to admit to those mistakes. You've got to accept those mistakes. You've got to learn from them. You've got to change so you don't make those mistakes again. And you've got to move on with a clean slate. You can't be judged by the first mistake you make. That's not how life works at all."
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