David Ortiz spoke to the media on Thursday down in Florida before Boston's spring training exercises began. As is expected, he was asked for his thoughts on the sign-stealing scandal that has dominated baseball discourse for months.
Ortiz had some strong words about Mike Fiers' role in the fiasco. Per MassLive's Christopher Smith:
“I’m mad at this guy, the pitcher who came out talking about it," Ortiz said here at JetBlue Park on Thursday. "And let me tell you why. Oh, after you make your money, after you get your ring you decide to talk about it. Why don’t you talk about it during the season when it was going on? Why didn’t you say, ‘I don’t want to be no part of (this)?' Now you look like a snitch. You know what I mean? Why do you have to talk about it after? That’s my problem. Why did nobody say anything while it was going on?”- MassLive
Better late than never is probably the most natural counter-argument to Ortiz here. Fiers gave his tell-all to The Athletic with the knowledge that he very well may become a pariah in baseball circles, much less with the Astros, and he doesn't even play for them anymore. It would have been a remarkable feat of honesty for him to expose the practices as he was benefitting from them.
Should he be commended for revealing all he knew? Should he be criticized for not doing it earlier? I don't think there is a right answer. It's undeniable that Fiers enjoyed a World Series championship with the help of sign-stealing. It's also undeniable that, if he hadn't come forward, no one has any idea if MLB would have opened an investigation at all-- especially in light of all these new reports suggesting teams have complained to the league before about Houston's sign-stealing to no avail.
As is with most things in life, this situation is filled with more gray than black and white. Fiers will continue to receive backlash for his decision, though, whether you believe it's justified or not.