A senior Houston Astros official has asked scouts to spy on opponents' ground work leading up to the 201
Goldstein, who did not return a message seeking comment, wrote in an email: "One specific thing we are looking for is to get signs coming out of the dugout. What we are looking for is how much we can see, how we will register things if we need cameras / binoculars, etc. So go play, see what you can do [or can’t] and report on your findings. "
The MLB investigation expanded this week when interviewers spoke with the team on site and in front of the Astros office and other teams. While investigators are trying to confirm Firs' allegations, they continue to lay the groundwork for other tentacles of alleged fraud, People around baseball fear have grown into an epidemic in recent years.
"Technology and information theft will be the blackest eye of this generation," said a longtime Astros employee. "This is really the last border that has not been banned. It's a way to gain a competitive edge without changing real players. "
Pandora's technology use box, even with new rules introduced before the 2019 season, continues to take advantage of a sport that encourages teams to curl into gray areas. Character thefts have long been part of baseball, backed by players and scouts, especially second-base runners, who monitor hunters' signals and return them to the batter.
The use of cameras for this purpose is considered unethical by many and due to recent changes to the rules has been codified as illegal by MLB. The level of punishment for participants in the alleged Astros sign theft of 2017 may depend on Commissioner Rob Manfred's interpretation of a rule against the use of "sign-stealing or transmitting information" technology. In 2017, the league fines the Boston Red Sox for using the Apple Watch in their dugout.
The breadth of Astros' willingness to use technology for field advantage continues to be in focus. During the 2018 postseason, Kyle McLaughlin, an Astros baseball operations officer, was removed from the camera wells to the Cleveland Indians and Red Sox dugouts during the postseason after pointing a cellphone at the dugout. Luhnow said the Astros were conducting a counterintelligence operation against the teams to make sure they did not cheat.
The plans for 2017, submitted by Goldstein, included a specialized intelligence department, which has since been gutted, and the balance of Astros-analyst-scouting has since tilted. on the "99 to 1" analytics side, according to a person familiar with the team's resources. Much of Astros' intelligence today, according to sources, includes cameras and video.
Off-field personnel who have attracted league interest include Red Sox manager and former Astros bench coach Alex Cora, New York Mets manager and former Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran, Astros AJ Hinch manager and coach Bulldog Red Sox Craig Bjornson, who had the same deal with Houston in 2017.
The MLB probe follows years of fraudulent allegations from teams regularly reported to the league office for suspicious action or anomalous results. The league has reviewed past accusations against the Auckland Athletics and the McLaughlin incident and cleared Houston of misconduct. The scope of the investigation is expected to include other Astros teams, including the 2019 version, which lost the seven-game World Series.