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Astros Being Investigated for Using Tech to Steal Pitching Signs

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#101 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:37 PM

 

Early indications are that Boston fans are resigned 

 

 

It's about time.:)

 

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#102 h2oface

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:53 PM

Beltran, the player ring leader, and new Manager of the Mets, and the players that actually did the deeds, get by with nothing. Isn't that like letting the ones that pulled the trigger off, and only charging the person that hired him for murder? I mean, as long as the decision is what it is......

 

I still think it is up to the defense to figure out how to communicate secretly. With all the tech coming in the future, it will only get more invasive. This is the tip of the iceberg. There are probably many methods that are still in play, and will be in play. This is a very strong statement to deter the practices that are so easy to figure out, though. 

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#103 birdwatcher

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:57 PM

 

Lunhow's statement is out. Apparently he's Sgt Schultz....which I guess is possible, but unlikely I'd think. That said, how many of us have worked with people that did stuff in secret we didn't know about, or even live with them?

 

 

Yeah, I'm old, and spent much of my career working with Wall Street firms. I know a Jeff Luhnow when I see a Jeff Luhnow. I don't trust a single word out of that guy's pie hole.

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#104 PseudoSABR

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:11 PM

 

Disappointing if true.He was the ring leader of the scheme in Houston, and likely again in Boston, with greater authority.  

 

The only thing mitigating is that Hinch knew and didn't stop him completely.Cora won't have a someone up the foodchain to blame in Boston.The buck stops with him in the clubhouse.

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#105 SomeGuy

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:21 PM

 

I don't know how any organization could hire either for the immediate future.I could be wrong, but I doubt we see either for at LEAST 5 years, if ever.

This is a league with dozens of active domestic abusers, steroid users (cheaters), etc. I expect them to land on their feet in 2021. We just signed Pineda who is currently serving a suspension for cheating, how is that any different?Nelson Cruz cheated as well but he was forgiven and many teams have wanted him on their team since then. Plus this situation is more guilty by association since there doesn't appear to be evidence of them planning or orchestrating the sign stealing directly. Hinch deserves the suspension more than Luhnow but I think both continue their careers immediately after this is over. When teams fire their coaches or gms this year they will surely think about how effective Hinch and Luhnow were when sifting through the other fired or inexperienced candidates available.

 

Luhnow

“As the Commissioner set out in his statement, I did not personally direct, oversee or engage in any misconduct: The sign-stealing initiative was not planned or directed by baseball management; the trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach. I am deeply upset that I wasn’t informed of any misconduct because I would have stopped it.”

 

Hinch

"As a leader and Major League Manager, it is my responsibility to lead players and staff with integrity that represents the game in the best possible way," Hinch said in part of his statement. "While the evidence consistently showed I didn’t endorse or participate in the sign stealing practices, I failed to stop them and I am deeply sorry.

 

MLBTR

In brief: Manfred found that a 2017 scheme to convey signs to batters in real-time “was, with the exception of Cora, player-driven and player-executed.” An ensuing effort “to decode signs using the center field camera was originated and executed by lower-level baseball operations employees working in conjunction with Astros players and Cora.”


#106 biggentleben

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:56 PM

 

The fact that they decided on Luhnow's and Hinch's fate and Cora is still dangling makes me think he's going to get hit harder. Maybe Pete Rosing him isn't off of the table.

 

It kind of sounded like MLB had an investigation going and the Mike Fiers statements only ramped things up. I wonder if the Red Sox dumped Dumbrowski early knowing that something might be coming and if they got out in front of it they might avoid harsher punishments. Manfred had already promised the forfeiture of draft picks if teams were busted doing this kind of theing.

Ask Atlanta how well that works.

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#107 tony&rodney

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:02 PM

Stealing signs, from a coach or player, has always been a part of baseball and is practiced by astute minds at all levels of baseball, professional and amateur. This is akin to being aware when a pitcher tips their pitches.

 

Using electronics changes the nature of the game. A few years ago several teams were caught using electronics and there was a strong statement issued by Manfred that this must cease and that any future violations would be dealt with in the strictest manner. When non-uniformed personal send transmissions and players send signals in real time that allow a batter to know what pitch is coming due to the use of electronics, the game is compromised.

 

Steroids were a stain on baseball just as beanies were and gave players a physical edge or the ability to recover quickly. It was absolutely necessary to eradicate them from the game. These, however, did not give an edge in an at bat like knowing a changeup was coming or change an outcome of a game. Baseball needs to respond with the aid of the MLBPA to eliminate this practice.

 

I'm a little surprised by the punishments, given the stakes: both Houston and Boston won the World Series. I believe we need to let Manfred figure out the penalties. I thought he was lenient today.

Luhnow - He has denied all knowledge. This seems hard to believe. 

Hinch - He aknowledged his part today but was rudely dismissive to reporters on this issue in the past.

Cora - Apparently, the mastermind of the entire operation.

The players - MLB needs to work with the union on this one.

Personally, I could not support a team that hires any of the above in any management or dugout position.

 

Sports are businesses, but when the integrity of a contest is undermined it loses its originality and becomes like Roller Derby or Wrestling, entertainment with an expected outcome.

 


#108 David HK

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 12:46 AM

This truly sucks at the highest level. Waiting to see what's going to befall Cora, but how can they possibly let Beltran off the hook? 

 

This is like the opposite of a regular scandal, where the low-level perps take all the punishment, but the bosses skate free. Now it's the mucky-mucks taking the heat, while the guys who did the dirty work seem to be taking a walk. We'll see.

 

On another note- it's no surprise Farquar was able to hear those drumbeats loud and clear- nobody goes to games with the White Sox, so there wasn't much crowd noise to interfere.

 

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk....

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#109 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:40 AM

 

Lunhow's statement is out. Apparently he's Sgt Schultz....which I guess is possible, but unlikely I'd think. That said, how many of us have worked with people that did stuff in secret we didn't know about, or even live with them?

Lunhow has presided over a number of black marks in the Astro's organization... The whole Aiken situation, the exec gloating to female reporters about a player with domestic issues... and on and on. It says a lot about how he runs the organization, whether or not he knew about this. 

 

I would not all be surprised if MLB blackballed him unofficially. 

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#110 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:44 AM

 

Disappointing if true.He was the ring leader of the scheme in Houston, and likely again in Boston, with greater authority.  

 

The only thing mitigating is that Hinch knew and didn't stop him completely.Cora won't have a someone up the foodchain to blame in Boston.The buck stops with him in the clubhouse.

saw something yesterday that indicated he's going to get hit harder... He was directly involved in 2 WS wins that are tainted due to this...

 

I'm a bit surprised though that Beltran gets off without even a hand slap. He was a player at the time and they aren't punishing players since they aren't in a position to determine levels of culpability... but his case is unique enough to deserve something I think... perhaps not the year, but a clear warning.


#111 SQUIRREL

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:17 AM

Moderator note: There is now an article out on this incident, however, since it has an angle of 'Could this have affected the Twins', it's in the Twins Talk forum. Feel free to continue the general discussion here, but if you want to see the discussion there, here is the link:

http://twinsdaily.co...rs/#entry949399

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#112 nicksaviking

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:46 AM

 

Beltran, the player ring leader, and new Manager of the Mets, and the players that actually did the deeds, get by with nothing. Isn't that like letting the ones that pulled the trigger off, and only charging the person that hired him for murder? I mean, as long as the decision is what it is......

 

 

Going after Beltran will be a problem if other currently active Astros players were also involved. If they go after the players they'll have to fight the MLBPA which will then get lawyers involved. Heck, MLB/MLBPA battles end up in the Senate sometimes. 

 

So they can either stomp out the non-players and let the world know that Beltran and the Astros players are cheats, tarnishing their careers, or they can have a long and public drawn out fight that will make everyone look bad. 

 

Plus it sounds like Beltran spilled his guts, which he may not have done if he knew he would also be suspended. Mets should can him anyway though.


#113 nicksaviking

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:53 AM

I have to think this could help jump start a baseball tech revolution though. Seems like the easiest way to make sure this doesn't happen again is an ear piece for the pitcher and catcher with the pitching coach calling pitches. If you cross that bridge, automated strikezones probably don't feel any more obscene to those that don't want them.

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#114 spycake

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:02 AM

 

Beltran, the player ring leader, and new Manager of the Mets, and the players that actually did the deeds, get by with nothing. Isn't that like letting the ones that pulled the trigger off, and only charging the person that hired him for murder? I mean, as long as the decision is what it is......

The burden of proof would be insanely high if MLB tried to penalize any players. It's doubtful any real punishment would stick. (And as Nick alludes to, the investigation may have only gotten this far because they players knew they themselves couldn't be seriously punished.)

 

It does call into question the popular narrative that Beltran helped the Astros decipher pitch tipping, like with Darvish in the 2017 World Series. Maybe he had a little help in doing that!


#115 spycake

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:03 AM

 

Plus it sounds like Beltran spilled his guts, which he may not have done if he knew he would also be suspended. Mets should can him anyway though.

If the Mets tried to fire Beltran, I suspect they'd still owe him his full salary at minimum, and perhaps prompt a legal fight there too. Since he hasn't been penalized by MLB, it might be hard to claim it is just cause for firing him now?


#116 spycake

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:07 AM

 

I have to think this could help jump start a baseball tech revolution though. Seems like the easiest way to make sure this doesn't happen again is an ear piece for the pitcher and catcher with the pitching coach calling pitches. If you cross that bridge, automated strikezones probably don't feel any more obscene to those that don't want them.

 

Although if you let players on the field use technology, that just shifts the sign stealing activity from watching video to intercepting communications!

 

Hopefully they could manage to figure out a secure system, though. They probably have to eventually anyway, to securely relay automated ball/strike calls to the umpire.


#117 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:16 AM

I have to think this could help jump start a baseball tech revolution though. Seems like the easiest way to make sure this doesn't happen again is an ear piece for the pitcher and catcher with the pitching coach calling pitches. If you cross that bridge, automated strikezones probably don't feel any more obscene to those that don't want them.

That is a fascinating idea. Frankly, pitchers should be wearing helmets or some sort of protective cover by now anyway.
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#118 birdwatcher

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:16 AM

 

This truly sucks at the highest level. Waiting to see what's going to befall Cora, but how can they possibly let Beltran off the hook? 

 

This is like the opposite of a regular scandal, where the low-level perps take all the punishment, but the bosses skate free. Now it's the mucky-mucks taking the heat, while the guys who did the dirty work seem to be taking a walk. We'll see.

 

On another note- it's no surprise Farquar was able to hear those drumbeats loud and clear- nobody goes to games with the White Sox, so there wasn't much crowd noise to interfere.

 

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk....

 

If I led this industry, I'd take energetic steps to first, apologize to the fans and to very specifically confess to the industry's historical culpability, example after example after example, and I'd pledge to do everything in our power to change things. I'd call out and implore the player's union to act in solidarity, in the name of decency and for the sake of the game.

 

I'd take exceptional measures to call out the players on those teams. I'd demand they step forward if innocent of participating to give them an opportunity to publicly apologize for the lesser transgression of knowing and doing nothing. These players are not lesser perps. These people live lavishly and are basking in this bizarre fantasy of idolatry and privilege. I wouldn't expect very many of them to suddenly develop a conscience, that's for sure.

 

It's always struck me as so obvious that cheaters, more than anything, should be denied extra opportunities to bask in fan praise, even after serving whatever paltry penalty they "accepted". I mean, sure, Pete Rose and Barry Bonds SHOULD be in the Hall of Fame. After they're dead.

 

The system is morally corrupt. It just is. So Players Union, do the right thing. Collaborate with the owners and clean things up. Start my taking a pay cut and paying the minor leaguers for God's sake. You should be embarrassed, but you're not.

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#119 nicksaviking

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:20 AM

 

Although if you let players on the field use technology, that just shifts the sign stealing activity from watching video to intercepting communications!

 

Hopefully they could manage to figure out a secure system, though. They probably have to eventually anyway, to securely relay automated ball/strike calls to the umpire.

 

If the NFL can do it, I'd think MLB can do it.


#120 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:21 AM

 

Although if you let players on the field use technology, that just shifts the sign stealing activity from watching video to intercepting communications!

 

Hopefully they could manage to figure out a secure system, though. They probably have to eventually anyway, to securely relay automated ball/strike calls to the umpire.

that technology already exists. Encrypting radio communications is something the military has been doing for years, and you wouldn't need anything nearly as complex or as costly as what they use.