By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — After investigating the cheating claims against the Houston Astros, Major League Baseball has found no wrongdoing.
According to a statement MLB released Wednesday, the Astros were indeed caught doing something. But if you want to consider it “spying,” they were only “spying” to make sure that the Red Sox were not spying.
That’s the excuse that MLB bought, at least. The case is now closed in the league’s eyes:
“Before the Postseason began, a number of Clubs called the Commissioner’s Office about sign stealing and the inappropriate use of video equipment. The concerns expressed related to a number of Clubs, not any one specific Club. In response to these calls, the Commissioner’s Office reinforced the existing rules with all playoff Clubs and undertook proactive measures, including instituting a new prohibition on the use of certain in-stadium cameras, increasing the presence of operations and security personnel from Major League Baseball at all Postseason games and instituting a program of monitoring Club video rooms.
“With respect to both incidents regarding a Houston Astros employee, security identified an issue, addressed it and turned the matter over to the Department of Investigations. A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules. All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution. We consider the matter closed.”
The last thing MLB wanted was to have a cheating scandal muddy their postseason, so it appears they did everything they could to sweep this under the rug as quickly as possible.
News broke during Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the ALCS that an Astros employee was removed from an area adjacent to the Red Sox’ dugout during Game 1 Saturday night in Boston. It was reported that the man “had a small camera and was texting frequently, but did not have a media credential.” It was believed he was there to steal signs from the Boston dugout.
The Red Sox were reportedly given a heads up about Houston by the Cleveland Indians after they had a similar situation with the Astros in the ALDS.
There’s a pretty good chance the Astros aren’t the only team up to some funny business in baseball. All teams steal signs; some are just a little more creative (and discreet) than others with their methods.
But the Astros may be the first team to ever get away with the “we were spying to make sure they weren’t spying” excuse. For entertainment sake, let’s hope they aren’t the last.