Athletics' Mike Fiers doesn't want protection, 'can defend myself'

Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers on Wednesday said, "I can defend myself" and that he doesn't need extra security from Major League Baseball during the 2020 season.

"I don't know how they would," Fiers told The Athletic on Wednesday. "I'm not asking for extra security. I'm here to play baseball and I can defend myself, if anything. We do have National League games and I'm going to have to get into the box [to hit] just like everybody else.

"It's part of the game. If they decide to throw at me, then they throw at me. There's nothing much you can do about it."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday promised to "take every possible step" to protect Fiers, who revealed to The Athletic in November that the Houston Astros were stealing signs.

"I want to be really clear about this: Mike, who I do not know at all, did the industry a service," Manfred said Tuesday. "I do believe that we will be a better institution when we emerge at the end of this episode, and without a Mike Fiers, we probably would have had a very difficult time cleaning this up. It would have taken longer. ... I have a real problem with anyone that suggests Mike did anything other than the right thing."

In its investigation, MLB found that the 2017 Astros used a live feed from a center-field camera to decipher the opposing catchers' signs in real time and deployed a system that involved banging on a trash can to alert their hitters of upcoming pitches.

"I've dealt with a lot in my life," Fiers told The Athletic on Wednesday. "I've dealt with people hating me before. I've dealt with a lot of life problems. It is what it is. And if someone's going to retaliate then by hitting me with a pitch, it's not a big deal."
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