While a few baseball figures have been critical of Astros whistleblower Mike Fiers, he has the support of the commissioner.
Fiers, the current Oakland Athletics pitcher who was a member of the 2017 Houston Astros, went on the record to The Athletic in November about the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing, and that paved the way for Rob Manfred’s investigation which ultimately led to the year-long suspensions of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, both of whom were subsequently fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.
“Mike Fiers, in my view, did the industry a service,” Manfred said during a sit-down with ESPN. “He opened the door here. Without that opening of the door, we would not have been able to conduct the effective invest that we did. We would not have been able to impose the disciplines that were imposed. We would not have been able to probably take the prophylactic measures that we’re gonna take with respect to 2020, and it’s important – painful, but important – that we clean all that up.”
Manfred said a new policy will be in place before the start of the 2020 MLB season which will restrict access “to live video in and around the dugout.”
Fiers, 34, was ripped by Jessica Mendoza and Pedro Martinez for revealing the Astros scheme to the public. The rare criticisms of Fiers were each issues by people affiliated with MLB clubs. Mendoza, an ESPN analyst, has since resigned from her special advisor position with the Mets, while Martinez is a special assistant to the Red Sox — who are also under MLB investigation for possible cheating during the 2018 season.
“It came from within. It was a player that was a part of it, that benefitted from it during the regular season when he was a part of the team,” Mendoza said of Fiers last month on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” before she backtracked in a statement. “When I first heard about it, it hits you like any teammate would. It’s something that you don’t do.”
Martinez was critical of Fiers for not saying anything while he was with the Astros in 2017.
“If he was to do it when he was playing for the Houston Astros, I would say Mike Fiers has guts,” Martinez told WEEI last month. “But to go and do it after you leave the Houston Astros because they don’t have you anymore, that doesn’t show me anything. You’re just a bad teammate.”