Carlos Correa taunts Astros critics: 'What are they going to say now?'


At least one Houston Astros star is done apologizing for the team's infamous cheating scandal.

All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa addressed his team's critics after they eliminated the Minnesota Twins from the postseason and moved on to the American League Division Series.

Striking a notably different tone from the remorse that several Astros expressed upon reporting to spring training in February, Correa said it was time for the haters to find a new punching bag now that Houston had advanced without the benefit of hidden cameras and trash cans.

"I know a lot of people are mad," Correa said. "I know a lot of people don't want to see us here. But what are they going to say now?"

Correa earlier this season was involved in one of the first high-profile incidents involving an Astros player being targeted for retribution, when Dodgers relievers Joe Kelly buzzed several Houston batters before finally plunking Correa.

Correa's apoplectic response prompted Kelly to flash his now infamous "sad face," setting social media ablaze and marking one of the season's first meme-worthy moments in the process.

The cheating revelations -- which exploded to the surface last offseason after years of rumors -- called into question the validity of the Astros' 2017 World Series, a reality several players acknowledged while on the apology tour in spring training.

The saga also cost several managers and an executive their jobs, including Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and Mets manager Carlos Beltran.

The new-look Astros took a step back from their 100-win form in the virus-shortened 2020 campaign, finishing two games under .500, good for second place in the AL West. However, the team was without the services of 2019 AL Roy Yordan Alvarez and ace starter Justin Verlander, as well as departed ace Gerrit Cole, now with the Yankees.

The upset marked yet another bitterly disappointing postseason for the Twins, who finished 12 games over .500.