November wasn't the first time A's pitcher Mike Fiers blew the whistle about the Houston Astros' sign-stealing nature.
After the Astros won the 2017 World Series thanks to a lot of help from trash cans, they returned to the American League Championship Series to face the Boston Red Sox. But if the Astros still were cheating, it didn't matter because the Red Sox knew it was coming. And not just because then-manager Alex Cora was part of the Astros' scheme the year prior.
"Alex Cora never influenced us and never told us about that thing," Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez told WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria." "The only way I ever found out was in the playoffs was when Fiers, who is a really good friend of mine, reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, make sure you’re doing this because this, because this is what these guys are doing in the playoffs.' I was like, 'What? How is this a thing?' And then I mentioned it to (Cora) and he told kind of me about the whole system and everything like that. That was kind of why it was so crazy. (Cora) was so relaxed going into those playoff games because he knew and we were ready for it."
Fiers also alerted the A's to the scheme in 2018 and they brought it to the league. It was only when nothing was done that Fiers went public to make sure the playing field was leveled.
That's why David Ortiz's comments Thursday in which he said he disagreed with Fiers outing Houston two years after he won the World Series with them were so misguided.
Fiers tried to go about the matter quietly and even helped make sure Ortiz's old team was prepared for what awaited them in the ALCS. He could have spoken up in 2017, but he tried to right those wrongs in 2018 before making sure the Astros had their trash cans confiscated.
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The Astros were able to bang their trash cans to one title, but Fiers made sure they wouldn't be able to repeat using the same old tricks.