The New MLB Cheating Scandal

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrates after his walk-off home run against the New York Yankees during the 11th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

AP

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrates after his walk-off home run against the New York Yankees during the 11th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Drew Stultz, Reporter

In 2017 the Houston Astros were in the World Series, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They beat the Dodgers in a 7 game series 4-3. During the 2017 postseason and end of the regular season, the Astros were stealing signs from opposing teams. They did this by using their video surveillance room that was connected to a camera in center field. A person that was sitting in the surveillance room would bang on a trash can to indicate an off-speed pitch. 

On March 27, 2018, the commissioner’s office, under the signature of chief baseball operations officer Joe Torre, sent a three-page letter to all club presidents, general managers and assistant general managers about how they can use their technology. Manfred’s intention was to clear up all the rules that were previously stated in his 2017 warning.

The second page of the letter says, “Electronic equipment, including game feeds in the Club replay room and/or video room, may never be used during a game for the purpose of stealing the opposing team’s signs.”

In 2018, the Boston Red Sox didn’t listen, they used their video replay room and after each at bat they would use it to decode signals.When a runner on second base they would signal the sign to the batter. The Red Sox cheating wasn’t as bad as the Astros, but it was still against MLB rules. In 2018 Boston posted an OPS with runners in scoring position of .872, the highest in the majors and the highest in the previous 12 years. (Seventy-seven percent of those plate appearances occurred with a runner at second.)  

The Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J Hinch both received a one year suspension for their actions in the 2017 season. They both were later fired from the organization. This is the first big scandal since the PED scandal in 1998 between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire.