Houston -- it's Carlos Correa's time.
And the 2021 Astros are his team. The 27-year-old shortstop is on a mission to win another World Series as the leader of an often maligned Astros' organization while the clock ticks to his free agency.
So don't expect him to back down now that the Atlanta Braves struck first with a Game 1 win on Tuesday night. If you see Correa pointing at his wrist after a big hit in Game 2 -- as he did against the Red Sox in the last round, sparking an ALCS controversy -- you'll understand why.
"When the playoffs start, [my teammates] always tell me it's your time," Correa told ESPN during the ALCS. "I love this time of year. When I point at my wrist, it's not to disrespect anyone. I'm just saying it's 'my time' of year."
He can back it up: In six postseasons, Correa has belted 18 home runs and compiled an .868 OPS. But beyond the homers and the flashy celebrations, a newer version of Correa has emerged -- a team leader who will defend his team publicly and call them out privately.
"He can sit there, in front of a group, and ask individuals, 'Are you ready to go with me?' because they know his answer is yes," explained Kendall Graveman, who joined the Astros in a midseason trade from the Mariners. "That's the vibe he gives off."
With his Astros in the World Series for the third time in five years, Correa is more than ready for one more chance to show off his leadership and on-the-field skills. And after seven years with the team, in what could be his final days wearing orange and blue, his stature in the clubhouse is clear.