A little music, to set the mood.
Today, we learned the penalties that the St. Louis Cardinals will face due to the unprecedented hacking scandal from a few years ago involving the Houston Astros. And honestly… it doesn’t seem like it’s all that much in the scheme of things.
Regardless of what the Astros’ general counsel said, losing two draft picks and being fined $2 million dollars just feels small.
In case you’ve been under a rock lately, a rogue employee who had a blood vendetta against Jeff Luhnow and the Astros organization used a password that some people who left the Cardinals org to hack into the Astros’ “Ground Control” baseball software. Deadspin has a huge, in-depth article here, which I suggest reading for more information.
The Boston Red Sox recently was slapped with sanctions in regards to some hinky mess in the international free agent market, things that other teams had done in the past, however not the the extent that Boston had done it. However, this employee of the Cardinals organization – rogue or not – literally hacked into the Astros computer database on numerous occasions and even attempted to over his tracks.
To whit: The Red Sox lost their international signing privileges for a year. Every player signed due to the package deals that were ruled inadmissible were retroactively declared free agents, which meant the Sox lost them as well, plus any bonus money paid to the player was kept by the player and therefore Boston lost that money, as well.
This is a huge penalty that affects the Boston farm team for years to come, as well as their bottom line this year. By comparison, the Cardinals lost two draft picks – #56 and #75, and $2M, and that’s it.
Nearly three years of insider information and directly hacking into a competitor’s database would destroy a public sector business. Hell, Martha Stewart did prison time for less. While the actual criminal in this case, Chris Correa, will also do his own stint in jail and has been banned for life from baseball, the organization that benefited from his illegal deeds effectively gets a mildly stinging slap on the wrist.
The Deadspin article goes into huge detail, and the TL;DR version at MLB Trade Rumors is pretty darn good, too.