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Dodgers News: Astros Planned Sign Stealing Before 2017 Postseason According To E-Mail

Houston’s plan to steal signs was found in a 2017 e-mail to The Athletic.

For the Houston Astros, it’s getting higher and deeper. Obviously as the evidence continues to mount, there’s an overwhelming sense that major punishment is coming the Astros’ way.

Now – in an interesting twist – Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic MLB has a story that a front-office executive of the Astros’ sent an e-mail detailing the plan to steal signs in August of 2017. Indeed, the allegations facing the Astros’ are now documented from a team executive in writing.

Furthermore, here is how the e-mail that The Athletic dug up reads to start:

“One thing in specific we are looking for is picking up signs coming out of the dugout,” the email’s sender wrote in a message from August of 2017. “What we are looking for is how much we can see, how we would log things, if we need cameras/binoculars, etc. So go to game, see what you can (or can’t) do and report back your findings.”

While the Astros’ decline comment on this particular angle of the story, Rosenthal writes that ’email at least reflects the mindset of the team’s front office in 2017, when another sign-stealing effort was already underway’.

Without question, that’s pretty damning.

Moreover, there’s another quote from an Astros’ scout who was involved with the sign stealing project of 2017. Undeniably, it spells out what the Astros were up to prior to facing the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.

“It just goes to the story, for 2017, we were asked to electronically cheat in the playoffs.”

Of course, this unnamed scout is talking about the use of a camera to record and steal signs from the opposition. However, Rosenthal’s story touches on several scouts and general managers speaking on sign stealing and it being a common practice. Then, he drops a bombshell quote from a current scout. It deals with sign-stealing with the use of technology.

“That’s (b.s.),” the scout outside the organization said. “When you start bringing in help, that’s when it crosses the line and is unacceptable. … Other guys would call them out. If you’re sitting there with a camera trying to steal signs and somebody saw it, you get ratted out quickly.”

Obviously we all know why this story is hitting us at our respective cores. For example, Yu Darvish talked about the effect that the Astros stealing signs had on a World Series game seven recently. There’s a decent chance the Dodgers have a World Series Title in their trophy case right now if the Astros weren’t using outside help.

Finally, this is an awful story for the sport that we will continue to document as more develops.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

23 Comments

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  1. The fair thing to do is 1. give the 2017 World Series to the Dodgers they would’ve won it if the Houston Astro‘s did not cheat 2. fined (BIG MONEY) Houston Astro‘s and prospects 3. suspend them the Houston Astros for at least a year the whole organization Cheaters, cheaters, cheaters, cheaters, cheaters, cheaters, cheaters

    • I agree they need to be punished severely, but it doesn’t seem right to give a trophy to a team that didn’t win it. Put an asterisk in the record, maybe give the Dodgers Houston’s next draft pick, but they unfortunately didn’t win that World Series, even though they should have.

      • My exact thoughts. Titles have been removed in the past. This cheating has similarities to what has been going on in the WH. Punish all the offenders

        • The Astros and their fans think they can do the Trump strategy but it’s not working in baseball. Baseball fans are actually listening to the evidence and wanting something done about it. Sorry Astros but you have to be the president of the United States if you want to get away with crimes in which there is more overwhelming evidence against you by the day along with people who were close to you saying it’s true

          • Let’s all keep politics out of this. We don’t all agree and baseball is a place where we can discuss, disagree and all be on the same team.

          • Willy, you can say anything negative about the FBI or Trump but the hypocritical Dodger Nation censor will not allow anything negative about Obama.

  2. I remember a few yrs back the Astros hired a front office guy from the Cardinals and used his data base for player evaluation. I think mlb fined them. Is the Astros FO more corrupt then we think?

    • It was the other way around. Cardinal employee Chris Correa went to prison for hacking into the Astros internal database. As part of the settlement declared by Rob Manfred, the Cardinals were required to 1) make a $2 million payment to the Astros and 2) surrender their two highest picks in the 2017 draft to the Astros. Manfred stated the penalties were severe because he found Houston “suffered material harm” that is “not amenable to precise quantification.”

      • Bum so what do you think, if proven guilty, the Astros should be penalized? I think bringing in help and the email trail is now showing the Astros as cheating as a deliberate strategy.
        The top people should be banned from baseball. The Astros should lose draft picks to the Dodgers and the WS trophy be taken away. If you do not eliminate the Championship then you reward their actions. That type of organizational cheating has to be stopped.

        • I personally – and it’s just my opinion – think stripping titles a little hollow. It’s already out there and you can’t replay the series. I do think a significant fine to both the team and execs (who should have known about the violations) is in order. If an exec was proven to be actively involved he/she should be banned. And yes if it’s proven they gained an edge specifically in the world series they should forfeit some draft picks. I think it was a CBSsports article that stated this goes beyond gamesmanship; it’s espionage.

        • You were wrong about the event but not the spirit. The Astros had no problem taking the money or the draft picks from St Louis for their offense and payment occurred in 2017 when the Astros were alleged to have been active in their cheating.

          • Bum4ever….Actually Willy was correct in his original comment about the Cardinals/Astros scandal, except for the part about the Astros being fined. MLB only punished the Cardinals (as you stated Bum4ever), but there were also allegations that this was actually in retaliation for Jeff Luhnow taking data from the Cardinals to the Astros before Chris Correa did what he did. The Cardinals got what they deserved with the 2 million dollar fine (many think it should have been worse), but they should have never had to give draft picks to the Astros. MLB could have stripped the picks from the Cardinals and just removed those slots and the punishment would have been the same for the Cardinals. I would argue that an equivalent value of picks should be taken from the Astros and given back to the Cardinals. The two teams should have both been punished in 2017, maybe not equally, but the Astros deserved punishment.

  3. My exact thoughts. Titles have been removed in the past. This cheating has similarities to what has been going on in the WH. Punish all the offenders

  4. Every team would pay that price for a championship. That’s peanuts for a title.
    The only way to stop this cheating is to strip the title from the Astros. $2 million fine to billionaires? That’s a joke.
    If I stole $1,000,000 and could keep it if I did a month in jail, how is that punishment? You need to take back what was stolen. If Manfred does not take back the stolen 2017 title from the Astros, he’s as bad as an accomplice to the crime.
    The NBA took a team from its owner for a racial comment made during a phone call. Somehow MLB is powerless to stop a cheater?

    • I don’t really want a title that we didn’t get to witness or celebrate. It’s empty and not what we all dreamed about. I think putting an asterisk next to it is good enough and I’ll tell you why. Put yourself as an Astros fan, Imagine having a title with not only an asterisk but also one that no baseball fan considers yours even though it hangs in the outfield. It taints it and takes away a lot from it

      • Al I agree in that they should not give it to the Dodgers but I believe they should strip them of it as well as ban any of their executives proven to be involved from baseball and take away several top draft picks and those should be given to the Dodgers.

        • Yes. Don’t give it to the Dodgers, just strip it from the Astros. The facts will be the important thing.

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