The Astros were using cameras in the outfield, un-uniformed personnel watching the feeds, and then loud bangs on trashcans to steal signs during games in their World Championship 2017 season. With Mike Fiers, then an Astros pitcher, confirming the details to The Athletic, what has long been suspected – not only about the Astros, mind you – is now confirmed.
… but what now? This is one of those things that is kinda hard to gauge because, on the one hand, I feel like the whole baseball world already knew this was happening, but on the other hand, it’s really serious malfeasance. So are the Astros going to get hammered? They’re already being investigated for their shit culture after the Brandon Taubman circus, and now this? And are other teams going to be investigated, too? Will MLB try yet another rules change to stop this behavior?
For their part, the Astros say they’re going to investigate (l0lwut?):
Statement from #Astros: “Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball. It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time.” https://t.co/0BrDa77VTC
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 12, 2019
Column: MLB shouldn't expect much from Astros investigating their own cheating https://t.co/QVOLFTSVx6
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 13, 2019
A reminder, as noted by Olney, that when the Astros caught heat for an employee suspiciously taking pictures around the Indians’ dugout in the 2018 postseason, Luhnow said this: “We were playing defense, we were not playing offense. We wanted to make sure it was a level playing field. … We look around to make sure there’s nothing suspicious going on. We want to make sure our signs aren’t getting stolen. So we do it every stadium we go into. We dispatch someone from the travel party to go out to center field, look at a particular area that might be suspicious or a certain monitor. I’m sure other clubs do this as well, but we’re just trying to protect ourselves the best we can.”
In other words, get the eff straight outta here if you’re going to try to suggest now that you didn’t know *exactly* what your team was doing in 2017.
I’m thinking MLB is gonna take the reins on this investigation, thanks.
Some random, notable, and/or humorous things to add to this story as background for whatever comes next …
- This whole thing is so cringeworthy:
“We haven’t done everything properly, but I do feel confident that in general, most of the time, we did things right and we try and follow the rules. We try to be good citizens and we try to compete as hard as we can.” –https://t.co/3zB2gZoMYv
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) November 13, 2019
- This is a pretty clear demonstration of what the Astros were doing:
Astros using cameras to steal signs, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/rncm6qzXxw
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) November 12, 2019
- Ha ha ha ha nah:
Here’s #Astros manager A.J. Hinch calling sign-stealing charges during the 2019 ALCS “a joke” and saying if they’d known whistling would throw the #Yankees or any other team off, they would have practiced it in spring training. #2017WorldSeries #MikeFiers pic.twitter.com/T73p9yv7P0
— Matt Marrone (@thebigm) November 12, 2019
- Maybe it wasn’t entirely your fault in at least one of those World Series starts, Yu:
Why am I tranding?
Do people finally realize I'm cool? pic.twitter.com/ji73rT9ram
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 12, 2019
- Another big leaguer speaks out:
In the article about the Astros stealing signs, they forgot to mention the bullpen catcher also relaying in signs for specific batters specific ways. Astros went to extreme measures, undoubtedly still do, and it’s paid off for them.
— Carson Smith (@Carson_Smith39) November 12, 2019
I’m convinced every team was using cameras to steal signs. But only during my starts
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) November 13, 2019
- Check the date, and realize why McCullers was so worried then:
You can’t limit mound visits, especially from the catcher, when everyone is using adv tech to steal signs. You have to change them too often to try to keep things as “even” as possible. And I’m not talking about signs when a man is on second. https://t.co/VsNhPMlnWX
— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) January 19, 2018