In case you’d forgotten – how dare you!? – Major League Baseball is still expected to punish the St. Louis Cardinals organization for the repeated hacking of proprietary Houston Astros information over the course of a couple years.
Although many believed that the punishment should and would be tied to the amateur draft – the hacking included incursions into the Astros’ scouting database during the draft – and, while that might yet be the case, it won’t involve this year’s draft.
At least that’s what Derrick Goold is hearing, as he reports here in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The man at the center of the scandal is former Cardinals Scouting Director Chris Correa, who pled guilty to charges in connection with the hacking, but has had his sentencing pushed back several times (now set for July 5). For that reason, there likely won’t be enough time to mete out punishment in advance of this year’s draft, which begins on June 9.
MLB has been waiting for the federal investigation to be completely concluded so that it may conclude its own investigation. Presumably, that’s because MLB does not want to duplicate work, and also because federal investigators have authority that MLB does not – so the information they’ve gathered might be of a greater depth and/or different kind than MLB could get on its own. Since sentencing has not yet occurred, then, it is logical that MLB could not have completed its investigation yet.
Further – and I know this will sound like anathema – it would be a little extra unfair to allow the Cardinals to spend the many days, weeks, and months of intense preparation for this year’s draft only to drop the punishment of, for example, the loss of some picks, just days before the draft is to begin. I know, I know. The Cardinals deserve punishment for a variety of reasons, but, when possible, punishment should always be fair.