If you ask a St. Louis Cardinals fan, their team represents everything right with the game. It's a fanbase that often calls itself the "best fans in baseball," deeming itself "classy" and deriving the pride in their team from what Drew Magary once called "good old-fashioned Midwestern piousness." So one can understand that, after news broke in the New York Times Tuesday morning that the F.B.I. is investigating the Cardinals for allegedly hacking into the Astros front office's internal computer network and stealing proprietary information (such as "internal discussions about trades" and "scouting reports"), some have found some joy in their recent misfortune.
Haha! But from what it sounds like, it was a comedy of errors all around. First, the FBI alleges that the Astros didn't do the greatest job of, uhh, protecting their information. Via the New York Times:
The intrusion did not appear to be sophisticated, the law enforcement officials said. When Mr. Luhnow was with the Cardinals, the organization built a computer network, called Redbird, to house all of their baseball operations information — including scouting reports and player personnel information. After leaving to join the Astros, and bringing some front-office personnel with him from the Cardinals, Houston created a similar program known as Ground Control.
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Investigators believe Cardinals officials, concerned that Mr. Luhnow had taken their idea and proprietary baseball information to the Astros, examined a master list of passwords used by Mr. Luhnow and the other officials who had joined the Astros when they worked for the Cardinals. The Cardinals officials are believed to have used those passwords to gain access to the Astros’ network, law enforcement officials said.
Whoops! Then again, the Cardinals apparently weren't too careful about covering up the crime:
Believing that the Astros’ network had been compromised by a rogue hacker, Major League Baseball notified the F.B.I., and the authorities in Houston opened an investigation. Agents soon found that the Astros’ network had been entered from a computer at a home that some Cardinals officials had lived in. The agents then turned their attention to the team’s front office.
(Calls to the Cardinals and Astros front offices, as well as the FBI, went unreturned.)
Will these accusations affect the Cardinals' standing as one of the classiest teams in baseball? I guess we'll have to go to the New York Times' comments to find out.
All is lost.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.