It’s been a month since reports of the Houston Astros’ electronic sign stealing broke. And one Oakland A’s pitcher — a former Houston Astros pitcher — was at the center of the story. Manager Bob Melvin spoke about the incident at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
A’s right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers shared his knowledge of the practice to The Athletic, expressing his fears over the disadvantage sign-stealing might pose for young pitchers and players trying to prove themselves in the league.
In San Diego with reporters on Monday, Melvin shared his thoughts on the matter, saying he supported and spoke with Fiers about the allegations against Oakland’s American League West rivals.
“We had talked about it, we prepared for those types of things. Lots of banter based on what’s potentially going on. It is what it is,” Melvin said to reporters. “There is an investigation going on and at some point in time there will be ramifications for it. So I applaud him. If what has been going on is what we’re reading about, that’s a line that’s been crossed. So we’ll see how it all plays out. There will be a lot bantered about it, certainly from the offseason and throughout the offseason until there is a decision made on it.”
Fiers was traded to the Houston Astros in 2015 and was part of their 2017 World Series championship squad before signing with the Detroit Tigers and, then, traded to the A’s in 2018. Fiers confirmed that the Astros had an electronic set-up that fed a center field camera — fixed on opposing pitchers’ signs — to a television in its home dugout hallway at Minute Maid Park.
Following the accusations, commissioner Rob Manfred said the MLB will launch an investigation.
“It’s been going on for years, and obviously if it happened the way it happened MLB will do something about it and it probably needs to be done,” Melvin said.