January 22, 2020

After ESPN's Jessica Mendoza Embarrasses Herself, Pedro Martinez Says The Same Thing, Trying (And Failing) To Have It Both Ways Regarding Players Who Expose Cheaters

Jessica Mendoza is guilty of a huge conflict of interest, as she is an announcer on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball while also working as a special adviser for the Mets. Mendoza also embarrassed herself last week by criticizing former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers for telling The Athletic about the Astros' illegal sign-stealing schemes. Mendoza said Fiers was wrong "to go public with it" and "start all of this".
To go public, yeah, that didn't sit well with me. Honestly, it made me sad for the sport, that that's how this all got found out. This wasn't something that MLB naturally investigated, or that even other teams complained about ... but that it came from within. It was a player that was a part of it, that benefited from it during the regular season when he was a part of the team. ... 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 tough to swallow.
Mendoza also revealed her deep ignorance about the sign-stealing scandal. Two days before her comments, Alden Gonzalez and Jesse Rogers (two ESPN writers, colleagues of Mendoza) reported that the Commissioner's office had received several complaints about possible cheating. It appears that MLB did not "naturally investigate" those complaints until some allegations were made public.

Is Mendoza also angry at Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich for reporting on these allegations instead of quietly slipping a note to Rob Manfred? If Fiers had not gone to the media with what he knew, MLB would have (knowing everything we do about MLB) continued to sit on and ignore those complaints. Mendoza is free to disagree about that assertions, but to say those complaints did not exist is wrong.

After she came under fire online, Mendoza went to Twitter and flip-flopped, praising what she previously said had not sat well with her. (She also defended her employment conflict of interest.)
Thought it was important to clarify my earlier remarks about the sign stealing situation in MLB. Most importantly, I feel strongly that the game of baseball will benefit greatly because that sign stealing matter was uncovered. Cheating the game is something that needs to be addressed and I'm happy to see the league is taking appropriate action. The point I should have been much more clear on was this: I believe it's very critical that this 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 better way to surface the information. Reasonable minds can disagree. Ultimately what matters most is that his observations were made public and the game will be better for it.
It saddens me to read Pedro Martinez's comments, made last weekend, which are identical to Mendoza's initial complaints.
If he was to do it when he was playing for the Houston Astros I would say Mike Fiers has guts. But to go and do it after you leave the Houston Astros because they don't have you anymore, that doesn't show me anything. You're just a bad teammate. ... If you tell me that Mike Fiers is coming to my team and you already threw your team under the bus, the team that you used to play for … Now everybody knows you are going to have a whistle-blower in any other situation too. Whatever happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse and Fiers broke the rules. I agree with cleaning up the game. I agree that the fact that the Commissioner is taking a hard hand on this, but at the same time players should not be the one dropping the whistle-blower.

If you have integrity you find ways to tell everybody in the clubhouse, "Hey, we might get in trouble for this. I don't want to be part of this." You call your GM. You tell him. Or you call anybody you can or MLB or someone and say, "I don't want to be part of this." Or you tell the team, "Get me out of here, I don't want to be part of this." Then you show me something. But if you leave Houston and most likely you didn't agree with Houston when you left and then you go and drop the entire team under the bus I don't trust you.
Pedro is not making sense. He is trying (and clearly failing) to have it both ways. He says "whatever happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse" and Fiers broke that important rule by telling others what went on there.

But Pedro has to make a stand against cheating and tell us he believes in "cleaning up the game", so he says Fiers should have called his GM or MLB's offices. He also says Fiers could have called "anybody" or "someone" and told them what was going on in the clubhouse. Which is exactly what Fiers did.


Brian said...

What I think Pedro means is that now that Fiers has gone public with what happened at a former team, it means that teammates in Cincinnati are not going to trust him and other teams will not want him in their clubhouse, either. Rather than attacking Fiers, he's admonishing him for possible future consequences he might have avoided had he complained while he was in Houston instead.

That's how I see it anyway.

I Will Not Get The Jab said...

Sign stealing has been going on since forever. It is time to move on from this non story. Fiers only told when he no longer was an Astro... Oh wow!!! How brave he was.
The faux outrage by the media and its fandom is nothing surprising as this is how it always work. Nobody cared about sign stealing until they were told to care...

allan said...

Since you said the exact same thing two weeks ago, I'll repeat myself, too:

I find it hard to believe you cannot understand a difference exists between stealing signs with your brain and your eyes and stealing signs with television monitors, computers and other electronic equipment.

GK said...

It is hard to believe, that Fiers would have remained on the Astros team if he complained about sign stealing. It was perfectly appropriate for him to leave the team before he outed them. Look at more accomplished pitchers on that team (like Verlander) who did not open their mouths for so long. A journey man reliever has to do this?

Also, you can see the culture of that club from how they got a wife-beater onto their team, they also were proud enough to scream about how good a move it was, and shamelessly lie about it later. Clearly it was a culture of "be part of the team and its winnning* ways or you are gone". Fiers did the smartest and most effective thing.

allan said...

I agree. I can't see how Fiers would have been a "good teammate" if he went to the GM (as if that would have done anything) or anyone else while still with Houston. It would leak and he would be vilified as a snitch (by Pedro and everyone else who say that's what he should have done if he had been a stand-up guy). It's bullshit.