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more Astros cheating revelations
3 weeks ago  ::  Nov 16, 2019 - 8:59PM #1
presceo
Posts: 190

Astros executive asked scouts for help stealing signs and suggested using cameras, email shows



By Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich  
An Astros front-office executive wrote about the team’s desire to steal signs in an August 2017 email that was obtained by The Athletic. As the club discussed its advance scouting plans ahead of the playoffs, the executive asked the team’s scouts to pursue sign stealing from the stands, and suggested cameras could be used to do so.


“One thing in specific we are looking for is picking up signs coming out of the dugout,” the email’s sender wrote in a message from August of 2017. “What we are looking for is how much we can see, how we would log things, if we need cameras/binoculars, etc. So go to game, see what you can (or can’t) do and report back your findings.”


The email was sent to multiple people and provided to The Athletic on the condition that both its sender and recipients remain unnamed.


Major League Baseball declined to comment on the legality of scouts using cameras, which would require a public interpretation of a broadly written rule from 2017 that is applicable to an ongoing investigation. The rule prohibited electronic equipment from being used “for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Club an advantage.”


The Astros declined to comment.


The email at least reflects the mindset of the team’s front office in 2017, when another sign-stealing effort was already underway. Last week, The Athletic published a story detailing a scheme the Astros used involving a center-field camera at Minute Maid Park that was fixed on the catcher signs.


Scouts discussed sign stealing with the executive outside of email as well, on phone calls and in a group Slack channel. Multiple Astros scouts said they were appalled by the possibility they would be asked to use a camera — and said that some scouts indeed voiced as much to management. Another scout noted a generally confounded feeling amongst the group by the overall request.


“Nobody wanted to do that, and take a chance of getting caught and ruining their reputation, not only as a scout but then even further damage what the Astros had going,” one person directly involved in the conversations said.


What Astros’ management did with any information learned through the project, or how they intended it to evolve, is unclear.


“It just goes to the story, for 2017, we were asked to electronically cheat in the playoffs,” one scout said of the long-term intent as he perceived it.


MLB rules made it permissible then and today for scouts to steal signs in the stands — so long as the signs are not being communicated during that same game, and so long as those signs are stolen with one’s own eyes or binoculars, a source familiar with the rules said.


The potential use of the camera, however, could have been a rule violation in 2017.


The rule is written broadly. But that does not mean commissioner Rob Manfred would necessarily interpret its application the same across usages. For instance, were the Astros intending to review the footage only after the game — and not use the footage during the game to signal signs in realtime — it’s possible Manfred would see a grey area in the rule as written then. Or, he could see a blanket clause rendering the use of the camera illegal. The rules have been updated since that year.


A longtime scout outside of the Astros organization said that, across the sport, asking advance scouts to attempt to track signs is not uncommon. A general manager confirmed the same. But the potential use of a camera stood out to both.


“That’s (b.s.),” the scout outside the organization said. “When you start bringing in help, that’s when it crosses the line and is unacceptable. … Other guys would call them out. If you’re sitting there with a camera trying to steal signs and somebody saw it, you get ratted out quickly.”


Said another scout unaffiliated with the Astros: “There’s a gray area. But I think cameras are past the line. It’s cheating, basically. I don’t know if it’s ‘cheating-cheating.’ But it’s over the line.”


During the 2018 playoffs, the Indians and Red Sox separately discovered a person connected to the Astros named Kyle McLaughlin taking pictures near the dugout. MLB investigated and said it found no wrongdoing.


The Astros’ front office will be looked at closely as MLB investigates the center-field camera system the team used to steal pitchers’ signs during the 2017 season.


“Obviously, following the rules is crucial to the competition on the field; any time there’s this sort of allegation, we take it very seriously,” commissioner Rob Manfred told Yahoo Finance at the Paley International Council Summit on Thursday. “We’re in the midst of gathering the facts. We want to make sure we understand everything that went on, who was involved, how far up in the organization it went. And at that point in time, we’ll make a decision as to what, if any, discipline is appropriate.”


When a team was last publicly disciplined for a sign-stealing effort, in 2017, Manfred’s statement explaining punishment for the Red Sox began by pointing out the violation “occurred without the knowledge of ownership or front office personnel.”


3 weeks ago  ::  Nov 16, 2019 - 9:51PM #2
davis2
Posts: 17,491

They are slitting their own throat! Why use electronic stuff to ask that question? Idiotic!!!

3 weeks ago  ::  Nov 17, 2019 - 11:25AM #3
Jon
Posts: 711
3 weeks ago  ::  Nov 20, 2019 - 6:27PM #4
Cocopugg
Posts: 6,897

They won't dismantle the team, so the only difference will be that when the Astros win their division again this year, everyone will be questioning how they cheated this time in order to achieve it. That organization has been smeared for years to come. (See 1919 White Sox).

1 week ago  ::  Nov 30, 2019 - 11:37AM #5
Jon
Posts: 711

Some GMs said Luhnow should be banned for life if he knew.


That's not even including the other controversies he's been embroiled in.

1 week ago  ::  Nov 30, 2019 - 8:27PM #6
davis2
Posts: 17,491

Nov 30, 2019 -- 11:37AM, Jon wrote:


Some GMs said Luhnow should be banned for life if he knew.


That's not even including the other controversies he's been embroiled in.



Houston! You have a problem!!!!


It will be fun to watch them circle the drain.

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