Marcus Stroman called out the Houston Astros for “ruining the integrity of the game” but pushed back against the idea of punishing them by hitting them with pitches in a series of tweets Monday.
Four days after the Mets parted ways with manager Carlos Beltran because of his role in the 2017 Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Stroman became the first Mets player to speak out against the practice. Major League Baseball said last week that the Astros illegally used a camera in centerfield and a monitor near the dugout to steal signs and banged on a trash can to communicate to the batter which pitch was coming.
Stroman began by sharing a video from his start against the Astros in Houston on Aug. 6, 2017, in which the banging on the trash can is audible. In the Blue Jays’ 7-6 loss, Stroman allowed 11 hits and three runs (two earned) in 6 2⁄3 innings.
“[Expletive] makes sense now,” Stroman wrote to his nearly half-million Twitter followers. “I remember wondering how these guys were laying off some of my nasty pitches. Relaying all my signs in live speed to the batter. Ruining the integrity of the game. These dudes were all about the camera and social media. Now, they’re all quiet!”
Pirates pitcher Chris Archer, a friend of Stroman’s, replied: “Totally silent silent. Where’s that ‘swag’ now? It was all a facade the whole time, the act, the game. All of it.”
Stroman, however, shot down vigilante calls from a couple of followers to hit Astros batters with pitches.
“Never that man,” he wrote. “I would never handle it like that. Moving on from this. It’s what it is at this point. Would never jeopardize injuring someone for that. Not me personally, anyway. Said my piece. Now moving on with life.
“Many individuals on here saying to intentionally throw at the Houston hitters. Personally, I would never do that. Too calm in my mind to want to retaliate and would never try to injure another human being over past actions. Revenge will never solve anything . . . karma will!”
All four individuals named in MLB’s findings lost their jobs over it: Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, Astros manager AJ Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora (the Houston bench coach in 2017) and Beltran (a Houston player in 2017). Commissioner Rob Manfred declined to punish players despite describing the sign-stealing as a “player-driven and player-executed” scheme. Beltran was the only player named in the report.
The Mets will play the Astros six times in spring training, beginning Feb. 26, and will visit Houston for a two-game series April 7-8. The Astros will come to Citi Field on June 2-3.