Athletics

David Ortiz didn't like how 'snitch' Mike Fiers handled outing Astros

David Ortiz didn't like how 'snitch' Mike Fiers handled outing Astros

Ever since Mike Fiers blew the whistle on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scheme, the A's pitcher has been lauded by many and vilified by others.

Some believe Fiers should have spoken up sooner. Others claim that he shouldn't have said anything at all. The latest to weigh in on Fiers and the Astros scandal was Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz, who held court Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., at the club's spring training facility.

In short, the three-time World Series champion wasn't a fan of Fiers' decision to say something two years after it happened. 

"I'm mad at this guy, the pitcher who came out talking about it and let me tell you why," Ortiz said, via NESN. "Oh, after you make your money, you get your ring, you decide to talk about it. Why don't you say something during the season when it was going on? Why didn't you say, I don't want to be no part of [it]? Oh, now you look like a snitch, You know what I mean? Why you got to talk about it after? That's my problem. Why nobody say anything while it was going on?"

To Ortiz, the Astros were so brazen in their cheating that someone should have caught on.

"People not stupid," Ortiz continued when discussing the Astros' tactics. "Like if I'm a fan that comes to that stadium for every home game like we have, at some point I'm going to hear that banging. And I'm talking about as a fan. 'How come there's thing banging going on every time we are hitting?' It was something that from what I have seen, that it came to the point where it was obvious."

The Astros have been getting bludgeoned by the media and opposing players alike. Stars Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman offered boilerplate apologies and shortstop Carlos Correa defended Altuve, who won the 2017 MVP, against accusations he used the trash-can banging system and perhaps a buzzer.

Ortiz, who is a fan of Altuve's, defended the second baseman but doesn't think he can be absolved.

"I believe that," Ortiz said of Altuve not using the system. "But let me tell you what the problem is. Just for being part of the group that was doing it, you are guilty as much as everybody else. Altuve, to me, might be the best hitter in the game. But look at what he got caught ... the mud that he's into now ... I don't know how he's going to be able to deal with all the trash coming from fans and everybody every time he steps to the plate. So if you might see him struggle this season, I don't think it's going to be because he doesn't know what's coming."

[RELATED: Anderson offers hilarious reason A's can't cheat like Astros]

The Astros scandal likely will hang over baseball all season. Some of the game's best stars, including Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have ripped into the Astros this spring, and there's no sign of the animosity subsiding anytime soon.

Fiers' timing might not have been the best. But he did the right thing. Everyone knows it.

A's-Astros series in Oakland could have set tone for captivating season

A's-Astros series in Oakland could have set tone for captivating season

Could this benefit the Houston Astros? 

It's an insensitive question I've been asked quite a bit since the coronavirus pandemic placed a halt on the sports world.

Tuesday would have been a day where the A's would host the Houston Astros in Oakland before the season was postponed.

It has been over four months since A's pitcher Mike Fiers blew the whistle on Houston's cheating ways. In an exclusive interview with The Athletic, Fiers admitted the Astros would steal signs electronically during their 2017 World Series run. Fiers was on the team during the championship season.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said. 

Time has passed, but people have forgetten. Not fans, not the media and especially not the players.

When Fiers arrived at A's media availability the day prior to FanFest in January, his teammates were there to support him. His manager, Bob Melvin, was there to support him as well. And after he made a joke to fans at Jack London Square he was staying off the internet during the offseason, it appeared green and gold fans also had his back.

Players like Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer have been outspoken about how important players like Fiers are to the game. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred echoed those sentiments saying not only was he important to bringing the information to light, but said this would have gone public one day. Fiers just sped up the process. 

The time that has passed, and will pass before the season goes back to the way it was, will not be a time to move on from this. This happened.

The world is going through some unthinkable circumstances at the moment. Circumstances that do not compare to banging on trash cans or buzzers under uniforms.

[RELATED: Fiers looks to mentor Puk, Luzardo this season]

But when the Astros take the field, they'll know the world will be watching, and we'll remember the attempt Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman made to apologize on behalf of their teammates during spring training. The baseball faithful will be happy the sport is back, and we can hope we all remain healthy during that wait.

An A's-Astros matchup would have created the overall tone of the season stretching beyond just Fiers facing his former team. 

But we won't forget. 

Ever wonder why A's mascot is an elephant? It involves a Giants insult

Ever wonder why A's mascot is an elephant? It involves a Giants insult

Editor's note: Every Tuesday and Thursday during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?" First up in the series: Why is the A's mascot an elephant?

If you've been to an A's game at the Oakland Coliseum during the last two decades, you've surely encountered their mascot, Stomper, running around.

But you might have wondered to yourself: Why is the A's mascot an elephant? After all, elephants, while beautiful creatures, aren't exactly athletic.

Well, NBC Sports Bay Area has the answer in the first episode of the "Ever Wonder" series, as baseball historian Dave Feldman recounts how the A's elephant mascot came to be.

Believe it or not, the Philadelphia A's adopted the elephant as their mascot all because of an insult by New York Giants manager John McGraw in 1902.

To hear the entire story, watch the video at the top of the article.