While it wasn't quite exactly hitting the big red button on the desk, Chicago White Sox pitcher Keynan Middleton tried to go nuclear on Carlos Correa while the Minnesota Twins were visiting the South Side this week.
In what can be described as the Ron Burgundy well, that escalated quickly meme come to life, Middleton invoked the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal when talking about his performance in a win over the Twins.
Middleton struck Correa out on Wednesday to log a 6-4 White Sox win, and wasted no time in using Correa's role in the Astros cheating scandal to pile on after the victory.
‘‘I knew I was going to face Correa, and I don’t like him,’’ Middleton said. ‘‘I enjoyed that.’’
It was an extremely weird thing to say, but is also something Correa is going to have to live with forever after all that happened. Folks are clearly still bent out of shape about the scandal, and rightfully so. It's a stain that everyone that 2017 World Series team will have to wear and won't ever be able to wash out.
For his part in Middleton desperately trying to benefit from the currency that scandal still has, Correa didn't seem very bothered.
Carlos Correa responds to Keynan Middleton calling him a cheater
Before the Twins and White Sox finished their series on Thursday, Correa was asked about Middleton's comments and brushed them off. Rather than engage someone clearly trying to manufacture publicity, Correa casually removed himself from the narrative.
“I’ve heard worse,” Correa said.
Remember when you were told that the worst thing you can say about someone who said something mean about you is nothing at all? This is that, as Correa refusing to engage in Middleton's manufactured feud is worse than any other comeback he could have had.
In fact, Correa went so far in the other direction that he took the high road in ways that most guys don't have the foresight to see.
"I'm just glad he's doing good and playing good and he can take care of his family," Correa said.
Twins fans don't need to defend Correa or the Astros cheating scandal. That's not a cross they have to bear, nor should it. But Middleton kicking up dust over this is a reminder that the conversation is going to keep popping up the better the Twins play.
Brace yourselves for when the Twins are on a championship run and Correa being part of that Astros team is inevitably brought up. If there's once silver lining to this it's that Twins fans can start preparing themselves now so that it doesn't cut into any enjoyment the team has in the future.