Mike Fiers arrived at the A’s media availability on Zoom Tuesday wearing a hoodie and removed his facemask -- but it wasn’t the one he had made for the team sporting his infamous facial hair.
The facial hair caused national attention, and that spotlight is something the A’s veteran pitcher is used to. He was the one who held the national spotlight after unearthing the Houston Astros of their cheating ways back in November. Fiers revealed in an interview with The Athletic last year that his former team would steal signs electronically during their 2017 World Series run.
He’s ready to move on from that now, however.
“Yeah, we’re not worried about that,” Fiers told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re focused on us as the A’s -- there are a lot more teams than Houston.”
“Right now, if we’re worried about that, we’re thinking in the wrong thought process going forward. We’re trying to get ready for the season, we know what we have to do to do that. Being out here, competing, practicing together and getting everything right for Day 1.”
The A’s will play the Astros this season, as they usually do, but this time around, it will feel quite different. The combination of no fans in the stands and months going by could make it feel strange.
“Maybe, I don’t know,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter -- I guess it’s not something to think about, like I said, just the game of baseball is what we need to think about right now.”
And it appears that’s working in his favor.
He trained in the offseason/hiatus quite a bit -- in between creating TikToks and playing “Call of Duty.” And although he showed up late as a precautionary measure after training partner Jesús Luzardo tested positive for coronavirus, he has looked good, according to A’s manager Bob Melvin.
“[Fiers] has proved that he ended up being really good for this team,” Melvin said Tuesday.
“Probably not as far along as a couple of guys at this point based on the fact that he had to sit down for a couple days, but if anybody could make it up in a hurry it’s him.”
Melvin also said he watched Fiers’ bullpen yesterday and was able to get a different view, complimenting his sinker and a late cutter.
“You understand without the velocity, why he continues to be so consistent, and so good and is always looking to add some stuff on," Melvin added.
Fiers looks to be a part of the A’s starting rotation this season and said he will be pitching against the Giants next week during their scheduled exhibition games.