Mike Fiers says he received death threats after exposing Astros’ sign-stealing scheme
Mike Fiers had to have known what was coming.
Sure, some people consider him a hero for helping to expose the Astros’ cheating scandal, but there are others who consider him a villain — or as retired Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz put it Thursday, “a snitch.”
Fiers told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday he’s received death threats after revealing to the Athletic that the Astros used technology to steal signs during the 2017 season. An investigation by Major League Baseball determined the team’s scheme took place throughout the 2017 season, including the postseason, and part of 2018.
“Whatever, I don’t care,” said Fiers, who pitched for the Astros from 2015-17 and now plays for the Oakland Athletics. “I’ve dealt with a lot of death threats before. It’s just another thing on my plate.”
Andre Ethier’s 12-year Dodgers career ended with the 2017 World Series Game 7 loss to the Houston Astros. He says the emphasis on analytics led to sign stealing.
Still, Fiers is concerned about his family’s safety, according to the Chronicle, and the league and the A’s are aware of the threats. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Thursday that he’d “take every possible step” to keep Fiers safe, adding that the veteran pitcher “did the industry a service” for speaking up.
“I have a real problem with anyone who suggests that Mike did anything but the right thing,” Manfred said.
Fiers has been the center of controversy before. In 2014, he hit then-Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the face with a pitch and was fined by the league for actions that “contributed to the benches clearing.” Fiers was visibly upset after hitting Stanton and said it was not intentional.
In 2017, Fiers was suspended five games for throwing over the head of Angels infielder Luis Valbuena. Fiers later said he was trying “to send some kind of message” to Valbuena.
The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal has been a major topic of conversation at spring training. It’s been tough to keep up, but these memes ought to help.
As far as possible retaliation from other teams for his role in the sign-stealing scandal, Fiers told the Athletic this week he’s not too worried about that either.
“I’m not asking for extra security,” Fiers said. “I’m here to play baseball, and I can defend myself, if anything. We do have National League games, and I’m going to have to get into the box just like everybody else. It’s part of the game. If they decide to throw at me, then they throw at me. There’s nothing much you can do about it.”
He added: “I’ve dealt with a lot in my life. I’ve dealt with people hating me before. I’ve dealt with a lot of life problems. It is what it is. And if someone’s going to retaliate then by hitting me with a pitch, it’s not a big deal.”
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.