A's third baseman Matt Chapman isn't the type to dwell on the past, even though the A’s finished runner-up in the AL West behind Houston in 2018 and 2019. But the Platinum Glove winner certainly does see changes resulting from the Astros cheating scandal.
“The future for them is looking a little different right now,” Chapman said Friday. “And the future for the A’s is exciting.”
It’s not like the sign-stealing tactics in south Texas are news to Oakland A’s players at all. They were tipped off during the 2018 season.
“Whatever they did, if we would have been more careful, I still think we could have beat them on any given day,” shortstop Marcus Semien said. “And we showed that during the end of the year when we changed the signs and just played our game.”
Players haven’t chatted much amongst each other about the involvement of their teammate, Mike Fiers, who was the named source that put MLB’s entire investigation into motion.
“At the end fo the day, we’re united behind the fact that we embrace what Fiers did,” closer Liam Hendriks said. “We’re trying to clean up the game, and if it takes somebody putting their name to it, that shows a lot of courage.”
As for Fiers being a “rat,” Chapman offered disagreed with that characterization.
“I don’t think it’s right to call him that," Chapman said. "I have nothing but respect for Mike. I think he was put in a tough situation and he did the right thing, and that baseball is going to be better for it.”
As for Fiers speaking out against his former club, Semien applauded the pitcher's actions.
[RELATED: Melvin calls Fiers a 'hero']
“He was approached by the media, and the only one to put his name on it," Semien said. "I totally respect that. Sure there were other sources, he’s not the only one. But we’re happy the game is going to get cleaned up by this.”
Semien also thinks the punishments and firings of manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow will have an effect across MLB.
“The suspensions, they’re serious,” Marcus said. “Teams aren’t going to do this anymore.”