A lot of time has gone by since the Houston Astros were exposed for their sign-stealing ways. May would think so many calendar days have gone that we would have forgotten.
Not even a little bit.
A’s pitcher Sean Manaea said in an interview with 95.7 The Game on Monday that it’s still a very fresh memory.
Can't argue with it pic.twitter.com/4ggWZUQJvv— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 13, 2020
“You guys are already legit,” Manaea said. "Why do you need to cheat? … I really don’t have that much respect for any of those guys.”
Manaea said the Astros are a “very, very good team,” and the fact that they were cheating was horrible.
Fellow A’s pitcher Mike Fiers was the whistleblower who let the world know the Astros were stealing signs electronically during their 2017 World Series run. Fiers was a part of that team.
The situation resulted in the most severe punishment against a team in MLB history, suspending Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for the 2020 season, fining the organization $5 million and stripping them of their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
Later on, Houston owner Jim Crane would take it a step further and fire Luhnow and Hinch entirely.
Fiers was dubbed a hero around the league and upon his spring training debut, received a warm reception from fans who showed they had his back -- which was repeated during the team’s Fan Fest in January. But still received some backlash for it, including death threats.
The A’s will face the Astros during the 60-game season right out of the gate. A series Manaea says he’s thought about a lot.
“It’s going to be interesting,” Manaea added in the radio interview. “The fact that they cheated just makes it suck, but doesn’t dispute the fact that they’re really, really good. We still got our work cut out for us, but I don't know, it’s a crappy situation. It’s going to be fun facing them, but it’s going to be weird.”