Add former All-Star Nick Markakis to a long list of MLB players who've verbally slammed the Houston Astros for stealing signs electronically. However, the Atlanta Braves outfielder took it one step further Tuesday, suggesting they need to be taught a lesson - physically.
"It's anger," Markakis told reporters when asked about his reaction to the Astros' scandal, according to ESPN. "I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating. It's wrong. They're messing with people's careers."
The 14-year veteran didn't elaborate on what kind of beating he had in mind, but he isn't the first player to suggest a physical form of retribution. Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer both recently hinted they would throw at Houston's hitters if given the opportunity.
Astros manager Dusty Baker asked the league to prevent premeditated retaliation against his club, and on Tuesday responded to Markakis' remarks.
"That’s cool," Baker said, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "I ain't commenting on everybody’s comments. Go ahead. You want to beat on us, go ahead."
Houston's new skipper also took a friendly verbal jab at Markakis.
"I didn’t think Markakis talked too much," the 70-year-old said. "He doesn't. OK, maybe he had his Wheaties."
Commissioner Rob Manfred said last Sunday the league will not tolerate pitchers hitting Astros players intentionally during the 2020 campaign, according to Rome.