MESA, Ariz. – Bob Melvin’s Friday morning meeting with the press had nearly wrapped, with the session devolving from baseball topics to mountain biking races through the Arizona hills.
Then came one final salvo that brings us back to that Astros sign-stealing scandal that simply refuses to die.
Frontline starter Mike Fiers was the whistleblower that launched an investigation proving the Astros were in fact cheating, making him and the Athletics a major player in this ongoing drama.
Everyone has an opinion on this topic. Many rip the Astros. Some take shots at Fiers.
That faction now includes former Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who recently called Fiers a snitch.
Melvin didn’t like that take. While he generally prefers to stay above the fray on this issue, the A’s manager had no problem responding to such criticism.
“I’m actually glad you asked me that,” Melvin said. “What’s the alternative? Just let it continue? There are things that go on in the clubhouse that you say should stay in the clubhouse, but this goes way beyond that. We’re talking about front office people hooking up video. This wasn’t just a clubhouse thing. This needed to stop, and that wasn’t the only way it was going to happen. That would be my response.”
Fiers has recently talked about the Astros after months of silence on the issue, saying he’s not worried about repercussions from those upset that he exposed systematic cheating at the highest level.
While he’s trying to tune criticism out, Fiers told NBC Sports California that he hears it but refuses to let it rule his world.
“It’s going to be around, but the more I focus on baseball the better off I’m going to be,” Fiers said. “I’m not trying to dwell on it or think about repercussions or retaliation or whatever it is. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. You just have to deal with it and move on.”