David Ortiz is not happy with Mike Fiers

Rob Bradford
February 20, 2020 - 3:00 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was just about 30 minutes after Jonathan Lucroy had sat on the JetBlue Park bench, letting it be known he was very happy Mike Fiers publicly exposed the Astros' cheating ways. Sitting it the spot in front of the identical grouping of media, David Ortiz had a very different view.

"I'm mad at this guy, the pitcher that came out talking about it, and let me tell you why," said Ortiz, referencing Fiers. "Oh, after you make your money, after you get your ring, you decide to talk about it? Why didn'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're looking like a snitch. Why do you have to talk about it after? That's my problem. Why did nobody say anything while it was going on?
"All those things that are going on right now, it's not out there, because it's going to be a huge distraction for the game for a while, and you don't want that. I retired, it's going to be four years now, and I have so much fun watching this game because of the talent out there. There is incredible talent right now. You watch the game, and the speed, physically the guys are in unbelievable shape, everyone's in their 20s. It's fun to watch. Then this thing comes in and I think it's going to be a distraction for the whole season, and we need to avoid that."

It was a similar tone taken by Ortiz's former teammate Pedro Martinez, who also voiced his displeasure when it came to Fiers when appearing on WEEI at Winter Weekend.

Both Ortiz and Martinez can't understand why Fiers or someone else didn't come forth with the information on the Astros while the cheating was going on.

"I still don't know how come nobody was like, 'That is wrong.' I just don't know how no one says something about it, during, not after," Ortiz said. "I was in the clubhouse for a long time and never anything like that comes up. But now they're going to have to deal with that for a long time. It's not only a situation that involved players. You're talking about the whole franchise.
"I feel bad myself, and let me tell you why. I have watched those kids playing. They're very talented. You're not talking about a whole bunch of knuckleheads that have no talent. When you talk about (Jose) Altuve, (Carlos) Correa, my boy the third baseman (Alex Bregman), you're talking about a group of kids that has talent. And their career is just brand new. Nobody on that team, with the exception of Verlander, everybody's career there is no longer than five years. Now, your career basically just begins, and you have to face the monster, and who knows what it's going to take people to forget about it. I'm watching, and it just doesn't feel right."
"There's more people involved in this than we think and let me tell you why: If you heard all the banging every day, you heard everything going on every day, people are not stupid. If I'm a fan that comes to that stadium every home game, at some point, I'm going to hear that banging, and I'm not talking as a fan. Like, 'How come there's this banging going on every time we're hitting?' It came to the point where it was obvious to everybody, it was too obvious."

One person Ortiz doesn't have a problem with is Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.

"I’ve been watching the whole thing," he said. "The commissioner is getting so much heat about this, like it was him who made that mistake, and I don’t agree with him getting all the heat. It’s because the reality is, not one player has come and said, ‘it was me who started this up.’ Everybody is passing the ball like when you’re playing basketball. All the commissioner can do is have a team investigate what’s going on and do what we all know he knows how to do. The commissioner, Manfred, has been legit since Day 1. And I don’t think it’s fair for everyone pitching him questions and blaming things on him. We all know he has the power to suspend people and make decisions. But it’s only to a certain point. After that, he has no control over whatever happens in the investigation. I saw an interview he did the other day and I feel bad for him because people are asking questions like he was the one who started this shit up. No, man, I’m here to make sure you guys as a fan -- like I see players telling him what he needs to do. Hey, he don’t tell you how to hit or how to pitch. So let him do his job. He’s going to do what’s best for the game. He’s not the type of game that’s going to accept you screwing things up in the game. No, he’s good at making decisions. But people need to chillax and let him do his job. Players need to let him do what he thinks is better for the game and stop putting him on the spot and telling him what to do. That’s what I think should happen."