ESPN personality and New York Mets adviser Jessica Mendoza took some shit on Thursday when she called out whistleblower Mike Fiers for the way he exposed the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. Fiers, you’ll recall, spoke with The Athletic on the record last November regarding the cheating.
Appearing on Golic and Wingo, Mendoza explained that she didn’t like how the news “came from within,” saying this, in part:
But to go public, yeah, it didn’t set 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 because they naturally heard about it and then investigations happened. 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 that team. That, when I first heard about it, it hits you like any teammate would, it’s something that you don’t do. 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 hard to swallow.”
That didn’t sit well with a lot of baseball folks, who thought Mendoza was criticizing Fiers for doing what they thought was the right thing (aka ripping him for snitching).
So her argument is one of “proper channels,” which is fair, but sometimes that’s not always effective. Sometimes you have to go elsewhere to get the desired results. That’s why people typically blow the whistle anyway, because they know that simply reporting something up the chain of command doesn’t always lead to critical information becoming disseminated publicly. Imagine you’re the victim of a #metoo, for example, and you have to think about telling your boss vs. going outside of the company because you’re afraid the former might try to sweep it under the rug.
Of course, Mendoza is doubling as a Mets employee and ESPN commentator, which has always been a unique conflict, so we’ll see if there’s any kind of fallout here, or wrist slapping from either one of those entities. Interesting situation though, and interesting comments from her.