Nick Markakis wants the Astros to experience more than just chin music this season.
"I have a feeling that every single man over there has to be hit," said the Braves outfielder on Tuesday in response to the scandal of theft of signs in Houston. "It's wrong. You play with people's careers."
36-year-old Markakis has not explained what the league's outcasts are supposed to "beat", but he hopes that this is more serious than a blow to Commissioner Rob Manfred's wrist.
"I think the punishment, I think everything was wrong," said Markakis. "You have players who did it [that got off] unscathed. I know there's a lot of political stuff behind it, but it's wrong. We don't want to see that. Everyone out there is competing and trying to do things right.
"I know that we as players don't agree with what they did. We don't stand behind them and will never support them in their actions." I think they got away pretty easily. You will be able to go out and compete without consequences, which is wrong. I think the Commissioner did it completely wrong, but that's how he did it. And that's how we have to live with it. But I know that many people disagree with him and how he handled the situation should be embarrassing to him. "
Like many of his colleagues, Markakis is affected not only by how much the Astros benefited from it – he won the 2017 title and reached last year's World Series – but also by how many careers were damaged or destroyed as a result.
"You are annoyed, especially by a man who has played the game properly throughout his career," said Markakis. "No shortcuts. I know how difficult this game is, I know how difficult it is to prepare for this game. Seeing something like that harms baseball."
"What they did were bulls – t. You have taken many opportunities away from people and possibly ruined people's careers. As I said, we are all competitive. We want to compete and win. But if you bring it up to this level, there is no excuse. As I said, bulls – t. You should have some ramifications for what you did. "