MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred defends Mike Fiers, talks A’s

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the pilgrimage from Florida’s spring training scene to Arizona, facing another round of fire regarding the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal on Tuesday.

Manfred made clear that, if not for Mike Fiers blowing the whistle on his former team, this investigation would have taken much longer.

“I want to be really clear about this. Mike Fiers did the industry a service,” Manfred said. “I do believe we will be a better industry as result.”

After questions arose about protecting the Astros from potential retaliation from other players and teams — perhaps in the form of a hit by pitch — Manfred also said that the league would be certain to protect Fiers from any possible backlash or retaliation.

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