Jessica Mendoza isn’t happy with Mike Fiers for going public about the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme.
Mendoza, a member of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team who is also a Mets special assistant, said the former Astros pitcher crossed a line.
“It came from within,” Mendoza said on ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” show Thursday morning. “It was a player that was a part of it, that benefitted from it during the regular season when he was a part of that team.
“When I first heard about it, it hits you like any teammate would. It’s something that you don’t do. I totally get telling your future teammates, helping them win, letting people know. But to go public with it and call them out and start all of this, it’s hard to swallow.”
Mendoza released a statement later on Thursday clarifying her remarks.
"Cheating the game is something that needs to be addressed and I'm happy to see that the league is taking appropriate action," Mendoza said in the statement. "The point I should have been much more clear on was this: I believe it's very critical that the news was made public; I simply disagree with the manner in which that was done. I credit Mike Fiers for stepping forward, yet I feel that going directly through your team and/or MLB first could have been a much better way to surface the information."
Mendoza added in her statement that her role with the Mets does not shape her opinion.
Fiers, now a pitcher with the A’s, detailed the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme to The Athletic in a story published in November.
Major League Baseball released its report on the Astros investigation Monday, banning general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season for not doing anything to stop the cheating. Astros owner Jim Crane fired Luhnow and Hinch later that day. On Tuesday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the Astros bench coach in 2017 who was prominently mentioned throughout MLB’s report, was also fired.
The Mets and manager Carlos Beltran, who was a player with the Astros in 2017 and the only player mentioned by name in MLB’s report, agreed to mutually part ways on Thursday afternoon.
“I get it,” Mendoza said on ESPN Radio regarding Fiers. “If you’re with the Oakland A’s and you’re on another team, I mean, heck yeah. You better be telling your teammates, ‘Look, hey, heads up. If you hear some noises when you’re pitching, this is what’s going on.' "
Fiers pitched for the Astros from 2015-17. He signed as a free agent with the Tigers on Dec. 8, 2017 and was traded to the A’s on Aug. 6, 2018.
“To go public, yeah, it didn’t sit well with me,” Mendoza said. “And, honestly, it made me sad for the sport that that’s how this all got found out. I mean, this wasn’t something that MLB naturally investigated or that even other teams complained about because they naturally heard about and investigations happen.”