The Astros cheated.
In what will surprise virtually no one, SNY’s Andy Martino reported today that sources familiar with the investigation of the Astro’s cheating scandal have indicated team officials admitted to using a centerfield camera to steal signs in 2017.
Witnesses have told MLB investigators that the Astros stole signs but denied the use of a camera to do so (via @martinonyc) https://t.co/Db6PhNKvEq pic.twitter.com/9zhmJB0Jgc
— SNY (@SNYtv) December 14, 2019
The team, Martino says, claims that they did not feel they were breaking any rules and that other teams use similar means to steal signs. The source also contends that no special camera was put in place to facilitate the process but they did request a live feed and a monitor near the dugout because the video room was too far away. Cameras used for scouting purposes are allowed with MLB approval but cannot provide live feeds.
The admission seems to further verify statements by Mike Fiers and three others who first made the accusations. The claims continued throughout the 2019 season, culminating in the Yankees notifying MLB of possible improprieties during the ALCS after hearing whistles coming from the Astros dugout. MLB investigated and found no wrongdoing.
This could be just the tip of the iceberg and result in stiff penalties for manager AJ Hinch and the front office as MLB considers the use of any electronic sign stealing illegal. The entire league was put on notice in 2017 by Manfred when the Red Sox were caught using Apple watches in the dugout, threatening “serious consequences.”