Red Sox legend David Ortiz calls Astros whistleblower Mike Fiers a 'snitch,' stands up for Rob Manfred

Spring training camps opened last week and there have been no shortage of players speaking out against the Astros and commissioner Rob Manfred. Houston was punished for stealing signs during its 2017 World Series championship season and players believe Manfred's punishment was not harsh enough. Even the mild-mannered Mike Trout is upset.

Not everyone is against Manfred, however. At Red Sox camp Thursday, franchise legend David Ortiz told reporters he believes Manfred is catching too much heat -- Ortiz said people need to "chillax" -- and that whistleblower Mike Fiers looks like a "snitch" for going on the record with the Astros' sign-stealing scheme.

"I'm mad at [Fiers]," Ortiz said. "After you make your money and you get your ring, you decide to talk about it? Why didn't you talk about it during the season when it was going on? Why didn't you say 'I don't want no part of this.' Now, you look like a snitch."  

Last month Pedro Martinez called Fiers a "bad teammate" for blowing the whistle. Between Pedro and Big Papi, that's now two Red Sox icons who have ripped Fiers. Coincidentally -- or perhaps not -- the Red Sox are currently under investigation for stealing signs during their 2018 World Series championship season. A ruling is expected next week.

Fiers waiting until after he won a World Series and left the Astros to speak up is a common complaint, and while it's fair to say his motivations were not entirely noble, better is late than never. He deserves to be commended because, if he doesn't go on the record, the sign-stealing scheme doesn't become public, and MLB likely takes no action. The sport is in better shape because of him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were complicit in the sign-stealing scheme and going to them was presumably a non-option for Fiers. Going to the media? Forget it. Ratting out current teammates for cheating would go over much worse than ratting out former teammates. Realistically, going public after the fact was the only way to do this.

Of course, the real problem here is that the Astros cheated, giving Fiers a reason to go public in the first place. No sign-stealing scandal, no punishment from MLB, and no blowback from opposing players around the league happen without Fiers blowing the whistle. Ortiz retired in 2016. How would he feel if he were on the 2017 Red Sox team that lost to the Astros in the ALDS? I doubt his issue would be with Fiers in that case.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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