FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox legend David Ortiz expressed his displeasure with Oakland A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, the whistleblower in the sign-stealing scandal that has engulfed baseball for the past few months, saying that the former Astros hurler should have said something in the moment about the infamous trash-can banging scheme instead of waiting until he was on another team.
“I’m mad at this guy, the pitcher who came out talking about it,” Ortiz said at JetBlue Park on Thursday. “And let me tell you why. Oh, after you make your money, after you get your ring, you decide to talk about it. Why don’t you talk about it during the season when it was going on? Why didn’t you say, ‘I don’t want to be no part of it? So you look like you’re a snitch. Why you gotta talk about it after? That’s my problem. Why nobody said anything while it was going on?”
Ortiz said he did not understand how somebody in the Astros clubhouse did not speak out earlier about the cheating schemes being developed in Houston.
“The Houston Astros, I know they put themselves in a situation and I just still don’t know how come nobody was like, ‘That is wrong.’ I just don’t know how no one say something about it,” Ortiz said. “During, not after. I was in the clubhouse for a long time and never anything like that comes up. Now, they’re going to have to deal with that for a long time because it’s not only a situation that involves players. You’re talking about the whole franchise.”
Fiers pitched for the 2017 World Series champion Astros before leaving for the Tigers, and now pitches for Oakland. Ortiz, who’s a special assistant to the general manager for Boston and is also a broadcaster for Fox, added that he thinks commissioner Rob Manfred is receiving too much criticism for his handling of the scandal, saying that he doesn’t “agree with him getting all the heat.”
“To be honest with you, I’ve been watching the whole thing and the commissioner has been getting so much heat like it was him that made that mistake,” Ortiz said. “I don’t agree with him getting all the heat and the reality is that not one player came through and was like, ‘Hey, it was me that started this up.’ Everyone is passing the ball like when you’re playing basketball. All the commissioner can do is have the team investigate what is going on and do what he knows how to do.”
Ortiz continued his defense of Manfred’s handling of the scandal, saying that people are criticizing him like he was directly involved in the sign-stealing scheme.
“The commissioner Manfred has been legit since day one and I don’t think it’s fair for everyone pitching him questions and blaming him on things,” Ortiz said. “We all know that he has the power to suspend people and make decisions, but it’s only until a certain point. After that, he had no control whatever happened in the investigation. I saw an interview that he did the other day. I feel bad for him because people are asking him questions like he was the person who started this s— up. Like I see players trying to talk about what he needs to do. He don’t tell you how to hit or how to pitch, so let him do his job. He’s going to do what is best for the game. He’s not the type of guy who’s going to accept you screwing things up in the game and tell you where to go. People need to chillax. People need to let him do his job. People need to let him do what he thinks is better for the game and everything else. Stop putting him on the spot and telling him what to do. That’s what I think.”