I was out to lunch with The Wife a little bit ago when my phone exploded.
Big trade? Schwarber not actually coming up? Folks still just excited about the Blackhawks?
Nope. My jaw literally dropped and all I could do was turn my phone around to show The Wife the headline from the New York Times: “Breaking News: St. Louis Cardinals Investigated by F.B.I. for Hacking Astros.”
I was particularly struck by the headline because I knew that the Times was referencing the release of sensitive internal Astros documents last year at this time, which was something about which I was pretty intentionally non-vocal. Hacking someone else’s – even an entity’s – sensitive information to lay bare for the world to see is fairly offensive to me, and I didn’t really like the idea of us then using that information for giggles while we talked about what trade rumors had just been exposed.
The whole episode made me very angry.
But it never even crossed my mind that another MLB team’s personnel could be behind the hack, let alone that it might be members of the Cardinals’ front office.
Rather than getting up on any kind of soapbox here or even reveling in the SCardenfreude – I’m sure you folks will take care of that for me (there are so many jokes to be had) – I’ll just say that you should read the New York Times report.
The implication therein is that investigators have fairly strong evidence that Cardinals personnel were behind the hack (which was not terribly technologically sophisticated), and it was perpetrated by “vengeful front-office employees” who were trying to make things difficult for Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who had been with the Cardinals until 2011. Federal investigators will continue their work, there will probably be something official thereafter, and MLB will respond after that.
For now, we’ll let this play out, and I’m sure there will be a deluge of further reporting.
For what it’s worth, I’m sure all teams would love to have access to the internal player evaluations (and trade talks and financials and everything else) of other teams in order to gain a competitive advantage. MLB, therefore, should have a very strong incentive to respond harshly if high-level Cardinals personnel illegally accessed confidential information from another team. Whether it was the Cardinals or any other team, I’d think that fans would want to know that the playing field is level, not only on the baseball diamond, but also in each front office.