Athletics

Why Trevor Bauer says Mike Fiers speaking up on Astros 'good for' MLB

Why Trevor Bauer says Mike Fiers speaking up on Astros 'good for' MLB

The Houston Astros' cheating scandal rocked MLB this offseason after they admitted wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series run.

Those involved -- both on the team and those impacted by what had happened -- have made their views clear. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer has been vocal about his feelings toward the electronic sign-stealing and has stressed the importance of speaking out.

Not just for him, but for A's pitcher Mike Fiers.

Bauer, who raised suspicions of the Astros' success years ago, supported Fiers, the original whistleblower who spoke on the record to The Athletic back in November about what was happening in Houston.

"If Mike Fiers doesn’t come out and say something, nothing gets done," Bauer told The Athletic on Friday. "Nothing -- even though all the players know this shit is going on, it’s the worst kept secret in baseball. If no one says anything, then nothing gets done -- no one says anything publicly because reports have been given to the league for multiple years."

"I know a lot of people, or some people had been like, ‘Oh, well he should’ve said something when he was on the team’ or whatever," Bauer continued. "It’s just so unrealistic because he’d be banned, blackballed from the game. I don’t blame him at all for not saying something then. I’m happy he finally came out and said something."

Bauer said what Fiers did was "good for baseball."

It was, and it is.

Players are speaking out about how pissed off they are, and that's important for fans and players alike to see.

Oakland pitcher Sean Manaea wasn't impressed with the way Houston owner Jim Crane and the Astros handled themselves in their sparse attempt at an apology on Thursday. Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Cody Bellinger made it clear it was beyond just a World Series trophy the Astros tainted, but an AL MVP Award that was given to Jose Altuve the same year it should have gone to Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.

[RELATED: A's Tony Kemp claims he didn't partake in Astros' cheating scandal]

Bauer's feud with the Astros, specifically third baseman Alex Bregman, started a couple of seasons ago while Bauer was with Cleveland. A Twitter beef that began minute turned into a slew of thinking emojis and the implication that Astros pitchers, known for their high-spin rate during that 2017 World Series run, could be using foreign substances. 

Those thinking emojis seem less passive now, and more of a "Eureka!" moment. Bauer isn't one to hold back.

It's nice to see Fiers receiving additional support from those beyond his teammates and manager Bob Melvin. We can assume more players will speak out in support of him, and against what Houston did. 

"Ultimately, on a wider scale, the players as a whole, we need more strength and leadership at the top," Bauer said. "I think that’s the position that he took, which is important."

Brett Anderson offers hilarious reason why A's can't cheat like Astros

Brett Anderson offers hilarious reason why A's can't cheat like Astros

The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal has enveloped baseball this offseason.

As spring training prepares to get underway, marquee players from every team have been teeing off on the 2017 World Series champions, who used technology to steal signs and alert hitters to what pitches were coming by banging a trash can. 

With the Astros taking fire as the black sheep of baseball, it's fair to wonder what other MLB teams either are toeing the line or crossing it when it comes to sign stealing. But if you're wondering if the A's might have a similar system to the one the Astros used, former Athletic Brett Anderson is here to pop your bubble.

“I know the A’s weren’t cheating,” Anderson told The Athletic. “Because, one, I don’t know if they could afford it. And to relay from f---ing 300 yards away in the video room? What were we going to do, get some vendor to throw some popcorn up in the air, or something? It’s too f---ing far to relay something.

“The lights go out, it’s a curveball,” Anderson said. “If there’s a sewage backup, it’s a fastball.”

Honestly ... fair point.

[RELATED: A's Piscotty carried mother's torch by trying to defeat ALS]

The Astros will be a topic of conversation all season and no one really knows how each team and opposing fan base will react when Houston comes to their park.

The A's will host the Astros at the Coliseum in the second series of the season, a three-game set from March 30-April 1. 

Stephen Piscotty carrying mother's torch by raising funds, awareness for ALS

Stephen Piscotty carrying mother's torch by raising funds, awareness for ALS

MESA, Ariz. – Gretchen Piscotty was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in May 2017, with the debilitating disease progressing far faster than doctors expected. ALS has no known cause and no known cure, a neurodegenerative disease that eventually causes the loss of mobility, muscle control and the ability to breathe.

The Piscotty family did not go through this difficult time in private. Gretchen and the Piscotty family opened their doors to share this tragic tale, amplifying it with Stephen Piscotty’s status as a major-league baseball player.

The Pleasanton native was playing for the St. Louis Cardinals when his mother was diagnosed. He requested and was granted a trade to his hometown A’s to be closer to his mom during this time of need, when the Piscotty family and their close friends rallied to help a mother of three and a woman who supported so many for so long.

“My mom, when she was sick, was doing a lot of interviews where people were coming into the home, which was a bit uncomfortable considering the situation,” Stephen Piscotty said Tuesday. “She did that not because she enjoyed it but to help spread the word in hopes that others wouldn’t have to suffer.”

The Piscotty family has continued that effort since her passing on May 7, 2018, by creating the ALS CURE Project, a charitable organization created to help fight and eventually beat this terrible disease.

“We’re just trying to carry the torch with this charity,” Piscotty said, “and our efforts to raise funds and awareness.”

Stephen’s father Mike spearheads the effort and runs the organization, which is expanding its fundraising efforts.

“He had a bit of an ‘ah-ha’ moment where he decided what he wanted to do immersed himself in community and terminology,” Piscotty said. “It’s incredible to see how much he has soaked in. My job is to help and promote and use my platform as best I can. We’re doing a good job as a team, and he’s working on the nuts and the bolts and I’m here to champion it whenever possible.”

[RELATED: What makes Chappy so confident in self, A's for 2020 season]

That time is now, with the first in a series of ALS CURE events coming up Friday at the Brandon Crawford Charity Golf Tournament in Phoenix. The Giants shortstop also grew up in Pleasanton as a star baseball player and, although their paths didn’t cross much back then, Crawford and Piscotty have become friends in recent years. Their fathers know each other, creating a link that prompted the Crawfords to donate proceeds of the event to the ALS CURE Project.

“I’ve gotten to know him quite a bit over the past few years playing against him,” Piscotty said. They’ve been so gracious putting on this tournament for us, really. It has been great.”

The Piscottys will host their inaugural ALS CURE Project Golf Tournament on May 18 at Orinda Country Club, and the Athletics will host an annual ALS Awareness Day at Oakland Coliseum on May 24 when they play the Los Angeles Angels. Funds raised during that game will benefit the Piscottys’ organization.

“It’s great to see the involvement from so many in and around baseball,” Stephen Piscotty said. “Our story, like so many others, has touched a lot of people without the disease in their family. We’re trying to bring more awareness to a very rare disease.

“We feel like we need to push in that regard because it really is devastating. It feels very underfunded in regard to a research community that could create a drastic impact with the proper resources.”

For more information: alscure.net.
To donate:https://www.gofundme.com/f/piscottyals2019
To sign up for the ALS Cure Project golf tournament:https://alscure.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/ALSCUREProject1stAnnualGolfTournament/SponsorshipsandRegistrations/tabid/1129471/Default.aspx