When Jose Altuve hit a 2-1 slider from Aroldis Chapman out of the ballpark in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS in Houston to send the Astros to the World Series, a wry smile came across Chapman's face.
Nearly four months later, in the wake of the Astros sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the baseball world, two questions come to mind:
Did Altuve know what was coming, and did he refuse to allow his teammates to rip his jersey off during the home plate celebration because there was a buzzer underneath it?
Speaking Thursday at Yankees camp in Tampa, Chapman called Altuve's behavior after hitting the home run "suspicious."
And while Chapman took responsibility for allowing the home run, he said "that's a good question for him" when asked if he felt Altuve knew what was coming.
Shortly after making these comments, Astros owner Jim Crane addressed the sign-stealing scandal for the first time down at the team's spring training facility in Florida, and was asked what he had to say to the Yankees regarding how the 2017 ALCS played out.
"Our opinion is that this didn't impact the game," Crane said.
What does Chapman think about that?
"I disagree with that. When you know the signs and know what's coming, especially at this level of baseball, we have some of the most talented baseball players in the world. As hitters, if they have an edge, an advantage knowing what's coming, it's just going to make them stronger.
"Was that the sole reason why they won the World Series? I don't know. But I can say that when you have an advantage like that, it's definitely going to make you a stronger team."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday that he's not convinced Houston didn't use buzzers.
With the Astros' sign-stealing scheme having started during the 2017 season when Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora were the alleged ringleaders, the Yanks also feel victimized when it comes to that season.