A's Among Teams To Alert MLB Of Astros Sign-Stealing Suspicions
The A's were among numerous MLB teams that "filed an official complaint" to the league regarding the Astros' sign-stealing scheme before former Astros P Mike Fiers came public this offseason, according to Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE. A's manager Bob Melvin and GM David Forst confirmed the team's actions, but added of MLB, "I don't know what else they could have done at that point." Melvin said the league office does a "great job of monitoring these things, but it's very difficult if a team calls in and complains about something, they can only do so much." He added, "It took a player and a player who was on that team to put it over the top. And I think MLB is handling it very well right now" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/13). In DC, Svrluga & Sheinin cite MLB sources as saying that the idea that the Astros "employed nefarious methods was an open secret" throughout the sport. A source said, "The whole industry knows they've been cheating their a---- off for three or four years." The source added that "'10 to 12' teams had complained to MLB about the Astros over the years." Another source "agreed with that number" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/13).
BOONE CONFIDENT OF NO REPEAT: In Newark, Brendan Kuty notes Yankees manager Aaron Boone is "confident other teams won't try cheating the way the Astros did." Boone said, "As an industry, we're just able to get better at policing things behind the scenes where this doesn't happen. I am confident that we will continue to get better and better" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/13). Boone added the "range of emotions has been huge" among his players. Boone: "You're mad, frustrated, disappointed." The Yankees lost to the Astros in the ALCS in both '19 and '17 (N.Y. TIMES, 2/13).
PLAYERS STARTING TO SPEAK OUT: With Spring Training getting into full swing this week, several figures around MLB have commented on the Astros scandal:
- Braves P Mike Foltynewicz: "As more and more comes out, this is one of the worst things to happen in Major League Baseball. You don't realize how many people you hurt, not just players, but front offices, managers, coaches, even scouts" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 2/13).
- Phillies P David Robertson: "It's a disgrace what they've done and they're going to have to live with it and everyone knows" (N.Y. POST, 2/13).
- Angels P Andrew Heaney: "Somebody in that locker room had to have enough insight to say this is not OK. Somebody in that locker room had to say, 'This is (messed) up. We shouldn't be doing this.' For nobody to stand up and nobody to say, 'We're cheating other players,' that sucks" (MLB.com, 2/12).
- Angels P Felix Pena: "There were always rumors going around that something was going on over there. They made things look too easy" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/12).
- Yankees C Gary Sanchez: "If I hit a homer, and I get my team to the World Series, they can rip off my pants. Everything. Take everything off. If I get my team to the World Series hitting a homer or a walk-off or something like that, take everything off" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/13).
HEY, LOOK OVER THERE: In DC, Thomas Boswell writes the "verdict" on the Astros is "already conclusive." Boswell: "If you don't take a title away for that, when will you?" Instead, MLB is "trying to distract us with an ice cream cone," as one knows MLB has "messed itself up royally when, out of transparent desperation, it floats a proposal to let more teams into the playoffs" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/13).