ANAHEIM, Calif. — Carlos Correa can’t go to any road stadium without hearing the boos. It’s part of the territory now, not just for him, but for his 2017 Astros teammates. The Astros beat the Dodgers that year in the World Series, but later, their electronic sign-stealing scheme was revealed, drawing the ire of fans around the league.
Nowhere is it more pronounced than at Dodger Stadium, where Correa spent two days this week garnering the loudest boos and jeers he’s heard all season, along with frequent chants of “cheat-er, cheat-er” when he dug into the batter’s box.
It’s normal for Correa at this point, he said. And besides, he pointed out, last year was much worse.
“I don’t hate that they boo me,” he said. “I’ve learned to live with that.”
Last year, the shortstop didn’t even leave his hotel room when the Astros visited Los Angeles. This year, he realized something: It may seem as if he’s public enemy No. 1 at Dodger Stadium, but away from the ballpark, the reception he gets is quite different.
The Twins had off days on Monday, during which he went to the aquarium with his wife and baby son, and Thursday, during which the family spent the entire day at nearby Disneyland.
So, how was the reception?
“You know what I realized?” Correa asked. “That in the stadium, when I go, they like boo and stuff and it’s an entertainment type of thing for everyone to just do that. But when they see me on the streets, they’re super nice and they ask me for pictures, and they ask me for memorabilia for the kids or for autographs.”
Normally, he said, when he sees someone approaching in a Dodgers hat or jersey, the people around him close in to create a protective shield, not knowing how the fan might react to seeing him. But on this trip, he’s usually heard something along the lines of, “Hey Carlos, I’m a fan! Can I take a picture with you?” to which he will oblige.
“In this trip here, I learned that because I also went to the aquarium in L.A. over there and I went to restaurants and stuff and people were super nice and super, super full, and I was just taking pictures with everyone. It was cool. So one thing I learned is it’s part of the entertainment when I go to the stadiums.”
KEPLER ‘LOOKS LIKE NORMAL SELF’
Max Kepler was 0-for-21 heading into Saturday’s game since returning from the injured list, but manager Rocco Baldelli said the right fielder “looks like his normal self,” to him.
Kepler was hit by a pitch in the foot last month, fracturing his right pinky toe and necessitating a stint on the injured list. Before he returned, Kepler described the injury as something that wouldn’t heal until the season is over, saying he would “have to deal with it and play through it.”
He’s been doing that since his return on Aug. 6.
“I don’t think the swings themselves and what he’s doing at the plate look too different. When a guy’s kind of working through some changes physically, I mean physical changes and maybe some minor soreness that he’s still dealing with and things like that, I think he’s still, obviously, still getting his feet under him from coming back from his toe injury,” Baldelli said. “But I also don’t think he looks like a guy that can’t go up there and hit a ball on the barrel. … I think he looks fine.”