CLEVELAND, OH — Mike Clevinger had some harsh words for the Astros after more details emerged about their sign-stealing scandal.
"I don't think any of those motherf------ should be able to look us in the eye,” Clevinger said last month while talking to Momentum. “They should feel ashamed."
Former Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer and Clevinger have both been outspoken about the scandal.
“I'd rather me be the hippie conspiracy theorist and him [Bauer] be the a—hole,” Clevinger said. “I'd totally rather it went that way, man, 100 percent. It sucks that we were right.”
Three managers lost their jobs due to the scandal, including Houston manager A.J. Hinch. Major League Baseball suspended Hinch for one-year before the Astros moved on from the 45-year-old, who was replaced by veteran manager Dusty Baker.
How can the league fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again?
“I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’re going to try harder to make sure they keep an eye on it,” manager Terry Francona said. “Everybody’s always trying for an edge. That’s just the way we’re built. Unfortunately, sometimes it goes a little too far.”
Clevinger is one of the many players that feel like the Astros deserve all of the criticism that they’ve gotten and are going to get this season.
“I think players will deal with it the way it should be across the league,” he said. “I don't think it's going to be a comfortable few ABs [at-bats] for a lot of those boys, and it shouldn't be. They shouldn't be comfortable.”
The right-hander also took exception with Justin Verlander's joke about Houston being "technologically and analytically advanced" while accepting the 2019 American League Cy Young Award earlier this offseason.
"Accepting an award and cracking a joke about it without an apology," Clevinger said when asked what upset him the most about this offseason.
Could the 2018 ALDS have been impacted by Houston’s cheating ways? Francona dismissed that possibility. He thought the Astros would’ve beat the Indians, regardless of what was happening behind the scenes.
“You can beat as many trash cans as you want,” Francona said. “I think we had two hits off of [Gerrit] Cole and three off of [Justin] Verlander. That wasn’t because of trash cans.”
The Indians will get their shot at the Astros this season.
"It’ll be fun,” Clevinger said with a smile.