Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers received criticism in some circles for going public as the whistleblower in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, but it sure looks like there was an attempt to handle things quietly behind the scenes first.
A’s manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst confirmed Wednesday that the organization filed a complaint with Major League Baseball about the sign stealing allegations before Fiers went public, but it did not appear anything came of it.
“MLB 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,” Melvin said, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”
Forst added that the front office handled the complaint.
David Forst confirms A’s did make official complaint to MLB re: Houston sigh stealing. Complaint went through Oakland’s front office. Before Fiers went public with allegations.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 12, 2020
Despite Melvin’s defense of the league, this is a bad look for MLB and raises further questions about their investigation. We already know that commissioner Rob Manfred’s final report omitted some rather important details about what the Astros were up to, and there was a sense among some that they went too light on the organization and scapegoated ex-manager A.J. Hinch and former GM Jeff Luhnow while the players who drove the scheme got away with it. Now this makes it sound like MLB did not take the allegations seriously until Fiers went public with them, which sparked a firestorm and forced MLB to investigate. Perhaps those who were critical of Fiers will think twice upon learning that he and his organization tried to go through the proper channels to get this scandal dealt with.