David Ortiz

Bob Melvin speaks out against David Ortiz's harsh Mike Fiers comments

Bob Melvin speaks out against David Ortiz's harsh Mike Fiers comments

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.”

[RELATED: Projecting A's 26-man roster as spring games begin]

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.”

David Ortiz didn't like how 'snitch' Mike Fiers handled outing Astros

David Ortiz didn't like how 'snitch' Mike Fiers handled outing Astros

Ever since Mike Fiers blew the whistle on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scheme, the A's pitcher has been lauded by many and vilified by others.

Some believe Fiers should have spoken up sooner. Others claim that he shouldn't have said anything at all. The latest to weigh in on Fiers and the Astros scandal was Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz, who held court Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., at the club's spring training facility.

In short, the three-time World Series champion wasn't a fan of Fiers' decision to say something two years after it happened. 

"I'm mad at this guy, the pitcher who came out talking about it and let me tell you why," Ortiz said, via NESN. "Oh, after you make your money, you get your ring, you decide to talk about it. Why don't you say something during the season when it was going on? Why didn't you say, I don't want to be no part of [it]? Oh, now you look like a snitch, You know what I mean? Why you got to talk about it after? That's my problem. Why nobody say anything while it was going on?"

To Ortiz, the Astros were so brazen in their cheating that someone should have caught on.

"People not stupid," Ortiz continued when discussing the Astros' tactics. "Like if I'm a fan that comes to that stadium for every home game like we have, at some point I'm going to hear that banging. And I'm talking about as a fan. 'How come there's thing banging going on every time we are hitting?' It was something that from what I have seen, that it came to the point where it was obvious."

The Astros have been getting bludgeoned by the media and opposing players alike. Stars Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman offered boilerplate apologies and shortstop Carlos Correa defended Altuve, who won the 2017 MVP, against accusations he used the trash-can banging system and perhaps a buzzer.

Ortiz, who is a fan of Altuve's, defended the second baseman but doesn't think he can be absolved.

"I believe that," Ortiz said of Altuve not using the system. "But let me tell you what the problem is. Just for being part of the group that was doing it, you are guilty as much as everybody else. Altuve, to me, might be the best hitter in the game. But look at what he got caught ... the mud that he's into now ... I don't know how he's going to be able to deal with all the trash coming from fans and everybody every time he steps to the plate. So if you might see him struggle this season, I don't think it's going to be because he doesn't know what's coming."

[RELATED: Anderson offers hilarious reason A's can't cheat like Astros]

The Astros scandal likely will hang over baseball all season. Some of the game's best stars, including Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have ripped into the Astros this spring, and there's no sign of the animosity subsiding anytime soon.

Fiers' timing might not have been the best. But he did the right thing. Everyone knows it.