Astros Busted! Red Sox Next?!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Texicaster, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    Mariano is also in that group... You knew it was a cutter, you knew it was coming in on your hands as a lefty, you knew it was going to saw your bat in half... and there was nothing you could do about it.

    But the helper signs are not for the closer, or for the future Hall of Famer throwing 100 in the 9th inning.

    The cheater signs are for the 4.89 ERA middle reliever, throwing pus, and the difference between knowing a fastball and an offspeed pitch is the difference between an off-balance grounder to second base, and a 500 foot blast off the facade.

    And don't think for one second that there weren't guys who told the bench to NOT give them the signs.

    I can tell you from first hand experience, that thinking a curveball is coming, and diving in to a sign-mix up, and having 88mph off your ear flap is no fun. The ONLY way to send a sign, is to know with 100% certainty, you have stolen the sign, and the information is 100% accurate. 100% ONLY.

    You can get someone maimed or killed by being wrong, and some of the players did not want any mix up in the equation.

    So, yes, I agree. Hoffman, Mariano, the elite guys with stuff so nasty it doesn't matter if you know it's coming, stolen signs are probably more of a hindrance.

    Middle of the pack guys relying on out thinking hitters and setting up pitches, speed is absolutely the key.

    ~syf
     
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  2. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    @scrapyardblue, I like the Cardinals. Have admired them for years and don't think they are evil or anything like that. I apologize if you recounted the Cards cheating story before and I have it wrong... I was only remembering that Luhnow had been with the Cards and left for the Astros and that Correa had hacked the Astros while working for the Cards and got prison time. btw, I don't think the Astros are 'bad' either. they have some people and a culture that became unaware of right and wrong and they got caught... they should accept their punishment and do better.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/...o-four-years-for-hacking-astros-database.html

    Which are facts. The reason you gave is interesting, but I cannot find it corroborated. I believe it could be true though...

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2018/10/04/c...rdinals-scouting-director-exclusive-interview

    This story is interesting in that it describes a brilliant person talented in multiple ways, well educated and thoughtful and introspective and then pivots at a speed that would break his OWN ankles to claim that intentionally using logins not your own and passwords not your own on servers not your own would somehow not be wrong and illegal. That part is simply not believable by a reasonable person.

    Make no mistake, I think Luhnow is a person who would cheat to win. The evidence is there and the result is known. Correa DID what he went to prison for... if we are mincing why he did what he did, okay... I guess it is possible that he wanted to discover if or confirm that Luhnow and team were 'improperly' using 'intellectual property' of the Cardinals... If Correa could understand and know what intellectual property and algorithms are... is it not also reasonable to assume that he knew that logging into the Astros Servers would be an invasion of their property?

    It does not appear that when Correa was tried nor sentenced that his intentions were expressed. Only after the fact did he explain his

    Correa--> "He and his lawyer, David Adler, agreed to the plea deal for two reasons: "One, I was guilty. Two, I wanted to accept responsibility as soon as possible so I could move on with my life, whatever that meant."

    Luhnow is dishonest and Correa is dishonest. Correa's to the degree that while working for the Cardinals, he ended up in prison. PRISON. GUILTY.

    His crime was vanity as much as anything else. He wasn't the aggrieved father of a daughter who'd been raped who goes and kills the rapist. His vanity and ego and HIS sense of 'right and wrong' was intrigued to the degree that he became a criminal.

    Anyway, sorry if I forgot that you'd previously told me about the Correa story about why he did it... It is really fascinating and would make an interesting movie...
     
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  3. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    About a year and a half ago, I interviewed Bregman's father in his capacity as the attorney for a union official accused of sexual harassment who is mixed up in all kinds of corruption and abusive practices, both within the union and New Mexico state politics. We even chatted about the Astros and the Dodgers for a bit. Now, I fantasize about talking to him again and calling his son a cheater. It probably won't happen and it would be an unprofessional thing for me to do, but a boy can dream.
     
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  4. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I saw that post about the Cardinal's and was going to comment but decided it was a dead horse. But since it was brought up the Cardinals did not steal information from the Stros. Ludenhow took information from the Card's when he left and took the Astro's GM job. The Card's got suspicious as the Stros were recruiting the same international players as they were and a Card's staffer who happened to know Ledenhow's password when he worked for the Card's tried using that password on the Stro's network and got in. Once he got in he found that the information that Card's had on a whole bunch of players was word for word the same on the Stro's scouting report which proved Ludenhow stole that info from the Card's.
    The Card's staffer who broke into the Stro's database was sentenced to prison but he was not stealing information, only proving what was believed, that Ludenhow had taken information from the Cardinals when he left.

    And now Alex Cora has been fired.
    Let's see, Stro's beat on a trash can in '17 and win the WS. Cora moves to Boston, implements a similar system there and they win the WS in '18? Coincidence? I think not.
    Baseball should put a note on both of those titles that the leadership of those teams were removed in '20 for being exposed as cheaters.


    And as far as you guys debating the pros and cons of whether it helps the batter to know what is coming from the pitcher? It does. What most people don't realize is the difference in skill level from a guy who is in triple A and a guy in the MLB is really minuscule. Now there are exceptions, some of these people are truly gifted athletes and they have an advantage physically in some areas. But in hitting a baseball it all comes down to hand eye coordination and studying your opponent to figure out what they are throwing you. Professional hitters can tell by arm angle, release point and even which finger comes off the ball last what pitch is coming in a split second. Give them a half second advantage by telling them it is a "fastball" (1 hit on the can) or "curve ball" (2 hits on the can) or "slider" (3 hits on the can) or "change up" (four hits on the can) before the ball even leaves the pitcher's hand and it gives the batter a HUGE advantage.

    The hitter still has to put the bat on the ball but they "know" what the pitch is going to do. There are those that mention some of the elite pitchers in the game (Mariano, Hoffman, Schertzer, etc) and even those guys would be at a disadvantage even if they threw the same pitch (like Mariano) 90% of the time if the batter knew it was coming.
    If the pitcher's best pitch is the splitter (a pitch that starts in the strike zone and then dives to the ground at the plate, old timers call it a sinker ball) and the batter knows that is coming all he has to do is locate the pitch coming in. If the pitch is at the knees, it will dive to the dirt and be a ball. If the pitch is at the belt then it will dive toward the knees and be in the strike zone. And usually a pitcher who throws a sinker has a second pitch which is his fastball that does not dive. They mix those two together and the batter is wondering if the pitch is going to dive or not. Take out the element of the batter knowing if the pitch will dive or not and he has an advantage.

    Mariano is a different animal, he threw three pitches, a four seam fastball, a two seam fastball and a cut fastball. All of those pitches are fastballs by type and typically he threw them around 92MPH which is a speedy pitch. The difference in those pitches was huge with his cutter having sometimes up to 5-6" of movement SIDE TO SIDE. His four seamer was a pretty straight pitch which he threw in the same arm slot as all of his other pitches, and the ball moved very little side to side. He would use this to paint the corners of the plate when the batter felt that the ball would float out of the strike zone. His two seamer moved a little side to side and he was able to run it into the hands of the batter by throwing it in at the inside corner of the plate and eventually hand cuffing the batter as the ball moved into his hands. And his cutter, well it would move a LOT. And each of these pitches were thrown at the same velocity, and at the same arm angle which made interpreting what was coming really hard for the batter.

    I did a study on Mariano and what made him so special one time as a baseball geek. It was fascinating how he developed those pitches and used them to his advantage.

    So as a former baseball player, who happened to be a better pitcher than a hitter. Give me a bat, let me know what the pitcher is going to throw and I will be more successful in putting the bat on the ball and laying off of pitches out the strike zone than if I don't know what is coming.
     
  5. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Afflicted

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  6. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I respect the skill and incredibly hard work it takes to excel at sports at the highest levels. But the older I get, the more I accept that cheating is common, and that it's all just another form of entertainment. Nothing wrong with entertainment, of course, but for me at least, it all gets old.

    I guess what I'm saying is that sports fandom takes a sort of emotional investment, and I no longer feel that.
     
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  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    hold on a second.... you are splitting hairs to avoid culpability. What the Correa/Cardinals did was illegal and punishable by prison. They broke into another organizations property to 'look around' and see (their version) if they had had IP stolen from them. Even Correa, when confronted by the judge, couldn't defend it.

    Breaking into someone's property is stealing their privacy. If I hacked your TDPRI account and read your private messages etc, you would ABSOLUTELY feel and BE violated.

    Don't diminish or try to wordsmith out of culpabilty.
     
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  8. scrapyardblue

    scrapyardblue Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the links, GB. Can't open the NYT article without a subscription (and would never subscribe), but I found the Sports Illustrated article quite interesting. Not sure how they jump to the conclusion that the Cardinals were benefitting simply by Correa logging on 48 times, but suffice to say more of this story needs to be told. It probably won't be, however.

    I'll try to find the articles I read suggesting that neither the FBI nor MLB did little more than determine that Correa broke the law and seemingly others in the organization did not.

    Let me be clear again: Correa broke the law and both he and the Cardinals were punished. We may never know if they benefited from what Correa saw. But let me be more emphatic: what Correa did was a sideshow compared to Luhnow stealing Cardinal proprietary information and the entire Cardinal database. That's what started this whole thing. The stolen methodology was mostly Correa's creation.

    In my view, the Cardinals got screwed, then screwed again. The Astros developed a World Champion team with Cardinal smarts, but walked away untouched.
     
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  9. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Here is the rub when it come to IP, it is generally accepted that any learned knowledge gained, you leave with. So if Lunhow left the Cardinals and knew which prospects were attractive, he can therefore populate the Astros database from memory with those same prospects.
    If Lunhow data dumped the Cards system and uploaded that data to the Astros system that is criminal. You still need to push that through the legal system though.
    That said I feel Lunhow helped spread toxicity through the Astros organization, so I don't see him as a good guy.
     
  10. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    No, you are absolutely right. I was not trying to say the Card's were not to blame, hacking into someone's account is a crime and he is doing prison time for it which is justified.
     
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  11. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    betrayal sucks. the Cards hired someone(s) who were willing to break the law to further their agenda. I think Cards fans got hosed via poor judgement by senior management... I agree with you.

    In my corporate life, espionage was unfortunately common. This incident is more like that than more common crimes... There is advantage to 'just logging in 48 times' even if it is just to graze.

    Stinks for the fans. I'd guess the law punished the 'doer' but saw him as a lone actor rather than acting on orders which, I hope, was correct.
     
  12. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    @scrapyardblue I didn't know I had a NYT account!

    here is the article!

    Christopher Correa, Former Cardinals Executive, Sentenced to Four Years for Hacking Astros’ Database
    By The Associated Press

    July 18, 2016
    [​IMG]
    Before his sentencing, Christopher Correa told the judge he was “overwhelmed with remorse and regret for my actions.”Bob Levey/Associated Press
    HOUSTON — A federal judge sentenced a former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals to nearly four years in prison Monday for hacking the Houston Astros’ player personnel database and email system in an unusual case of high-tech cheating involving two Major League Baseball clubs.

    Christopher Correa had pleaded guilty in January to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer from 2013 to at least 2014, the same year he was promoted to director of baseball development in St. Louis. He was fired last summer and now faces 46 months behind bars and a court order to pay $279,038 in restitution. He had faced up to five years in prison on each count.

    Correa read a letter in court before he was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Lynn Hughes, and he said he was “overwhelmed with remorse and regret for my actions.”

    “I violated my values and it was wrong,” he said. “The whole episode represents the worst thing I’ve done in my life by far.”

    Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. had blamed the hack on “roguish behavior” by a handful of individuals. No one else was charged.

    Major League Baseball could discipline the Cardinals, possibly with a fine or a loss of draft picks, but has said only that it looked forward to receiving details on the case from federal authorities. The league will conduct its own investigation so that Commissioner Rob Manfred will be in a position “to take appropriate action,” it said.

    The data breach was first reported in June 2014 when Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that the team had been the victim of hackers who had gained access to servers and published online months of internal trade talks. Luhnow had previously worked for the Cardinals.

    Federal prosecutors said the hacking cost the Astros about $1.7 million, taking into account how Correa had used the Astros’ data to draft players.

    The F.B.I. said Correa had gained access using a password similar to that used by a Cardinals employee who “had to turn over his Cardinals-owned laptop to Correa along with the laptop’s password” when he was leaving for a job with the Astros in 2011. The employee was not identified, though Luhnow left St. Louis for Houston in December of that year to become general manager.

    Prosecutors have said that in 2013, Correa improperly downloaded a file of the Astros’ scouting list of every eligible player for that year’s draft. They said he had also improperly viewed notes of trade discussions as well as a page that listed information such as potential bonus details, statistics and notes on recent performances and injuries by team prospects.

    The Astros rely heavily on sabermetrics in their evaluation of players and use a database called Ground Control to house proprietary information.

    Authorities said that after the Astros took security precautions involving Ground Control following a Houston Chronicle article about the database, Correa was still able to access it. Authorities said he had hacked the email system and was able to view 118 pages of confidential information, including notes of trade discussions, player evaluations and a 2014 team draft board that had not yet been completed.

    Luhnow was a key figure in the Cardinals’ own database, called Redbird. At least one former Cardinals employee — Sig Mejdal, a former NASA employee and analytics expert — had joined Luhnow in Houston.

    Luhnow has not commented in detail about the case, though he has denied using any of the Cardinals’ intellectual property or information from Redbird to create Houston’s database.

    The Cardinals are among baseball’s most successful franchises on and off the field. Only the Yankees have more World Series titles than the 11 won by St. Louis. The Astros and the Cardinals were rivals in the National League Central Division until Houston moved to the American League in 2013.

    A version of this article appears in print on July 19, 2016, Section B, Page 10 of the New York edition with the headline: Baseball; Ex-Cardinals Official Gets Nearly Four Years for Hacking. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
    Student sale: Get 4 weeks free, then $1 a week.
     
  13. scrapyardblue

    scrapyardblue Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the link, Getbent. New York Times missing one half of the story, which is typical for them. Reach a conclusion or decide on a narrative, then present only those aspects that serve your position. Or just plain lazy reporting, take your pick. Luhnow starts it all by stealing the Cardinals system and database, yet the Times makes it sound like Correa was simply a rogue predator trying to beat the Astros out of information.

    This article does point out, however, that Correa likely went way beyond just verifying the initial Luhnow theft. That's what prisons are for. I don't blame the Cardinals for hiring him, though. He had the credentials and a clean record. How do you ever know what's at the core of any hire?
     
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  14. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    There is always more to the story fo sho. A kid we grew up with, Randy Lerch, was in a court case years ago when he was with the Phillies... the articles always looked one way and we knew some other details that did not seem to make the story...

    Years ago, I lived in Kentucky and I was coaching and I became friends with the two big sportswriters (having a beer or pizza etc) and I liked them both very much... one went on to a really nice career and the other has done fine too... They covered me many times in stories and it used to drive me crazy... They ALWAYS got the story wrong or misquoted me or didn't tell the whole thing etc... I would get furious (I was under 30) with them and they would laugh and shake their head and say, 'no man, that is what you said... EVEN when I taped our convos and showed them.'

    I think we all have our narratives going... it is my wish that I at least recognize I have mine going and to try to fight through my own narrative to try to hit the basics... sometimes I know I sound like I'm arguing, but it isn't my real intent... I just want to test for the truth as close as we can get....

    Newspapers and reporters etc... I wish they fought harder to try to just get the story as clear as possible...

    Anyway, thanks to you and several for the conversation... I WISH we could go hit the wooden nickel together and have a couple of beers!
     
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  15. scrapyardblue

    scrapyardblue Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    "Test the truth as close as we get." I like that and wooden nickel idea.
     
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  16. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    I read that for a long time, Mariano's cutter moved in only one direction (from right to left) and a well-known opposing hitter said, essentially, "If it looks like a strike, it will cut off the plate so don't swing. But if it looks wide, then get ready to swing because it will cut over the plate." But they still couldn't square it up. Then later on, he learned to cut the ball to both sides of the plate and it was just nasty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  17. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    Mariano began to exert more or less pressure on that trailing finger. So, he could get it to move more or less, from pitch to pitch. So, while you are correct in that hitters could see the ball coming in and take a pitch that cut inside of the plate, two things worked against them.

    1. He'd throw the next pitch so that it didn't cut as much and caught enough plate to get a strike call.
    2. He was so accurate, that the pitch 4 inches off the inner black, he got the strike call on anyway.

    Pretty unfair to be so filthy, throw a ball that moved so much, and then get what should have been balls- called strikes on the premise of accuracy, and a being a first-ballot Hall of Fame shoe-in.

    He was gnarly. Just so good.
    ~syf
     
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  18. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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  19. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I read it. What is great about it? Lazy reporters wrote lazy stories now feel a little bit bad about it, but 'victim' (who blew other games where cheating wasn't an issue) doesn't want their lame 'apology' because why accept it when it is is even more lame than he is?

    If the reporters had been doing they job (to quote a great american) they would have been on top of the story rather than trailing it... This was the failure in ALL of the PED stories... sports reporters are a bunch of jock sniffing sycophants who effectively alternate between representing the teams and individual players at the expense of the facts and the truth in the name of being tools to keep the staus quo the status quo.

    this would not be a problem had they not created an image that they were truth seekers and fierce at 'getting the story right'. Instead they are muck rakers... They muddy up stories and participate in making sure the facts... bald and clear don't really get out and amplified accurately.

    So, gonna disagree that this is a 'great' column, in fact, I think if Dylan was in a room of greatness, he would spend his time looking to see if they had free ham sammiches.
     
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  20. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry you didn't like it. I find myself agreeing with you on most things but our paths must part on this one. I've already emailed the article to my brother and a bunch of old college friends. I'll immediately send a follow-up that says, "DISCLAIMER: Not all find this to be a great article, getbent from San Benito County, for instance." I think that's fair.
     
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