MLB’s sign-stealing controversy broadens: Sources say the Red Sox used video replay room illegally in 2018

jon abbey

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for that matter, why would Altuve's worry there be "don't tear my jersey off"? Is there some sort of jersey-tearing ritual for walk-offs that I've missed despite watching my share of baseball? Banging on helmets, gatorade baths, all of that sure, but "rip the guy's jersey off" isn't part of the repertoire I'm used to. Maybe we're misinterpreting Altuve's body language there via some motivated reasoning.
Yes, tearing off jerseys on walkoffs was kind of a big thing this year, Pete Alonso specifically is one I remember.
 

Hoya81

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Did they?

Jomboy makes funny videos with great commentary, I'm not exactly going to treat him as a "source" here. Nor that image (or Trevor Bauer's haterade) as dispositive. Lots of people thought a picture of some kids with backpacks were the marathon bombers, too.

edit: for that matter, why would Altuve's worry there be "don't tear my jersey off"? Is there some sort of jersey-tearing ritual for walk-offs that I've missed despite watching my share of baseball? Banging on helmets, gatorade baths, all of that sure, but "rip the guy's jersey off" isn't part of the repertoire I'm used to. Maybe we're misinterpreting Altuve's body language there via some motivated reasoning.

It's certainly possible MLB missed this, but I think given the thoroughness of the investigation as reported, our default stance should still be that they came up with everything there was to bring to light.
If I remember, I think Altuve said that he didn't want it taken off because his wife got upset that he was shirtless in public or something on a previous walkoff.
 

Mooch

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Before we all get too far ahead of ourselves here:

Marly Rivera @MarlyRiveraESPN
13m
The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns.

Marly Rivera from ESPN tweeted:
The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns.
Talk about a mealy-mouthed denial. "The information may or may not be true but we'll be damned if we don't correct the accusation of the source being a blood relative..."
 

OurF'ingCity

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It's certainly possible MLB missed this, but I think given the thoroughness of the investigation as reported, our default stance should still be that they came up with everything there was to bring to light.
The "buzzer" allegations are from the 2019 postseason, right? So it wouldn't actually surprise me that much given that former Astros players/managers (including Cora and Beltran) wouldn't have known about it to tell MLB, and the Astros players themselves might have decided (either collectively or they all more or less came to the same independent conclusion) that the easiest way to address the situation was to admit what had already been widely reported about the trash-can-banging and largely blame it on Cora and Beltran, two individuals who conveniently weren't on the team anymore.

I realize that sounds pretty conspiratorial and I'm not saying that's the case, but that's at least a scenario where MLB having "missed" the issue would be plausible.
 

Bosoxen

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edit: for that matter, why would Altuve's worry there be "don't tear my jersey off"? Is there some sort of jersey-tearing ritual for walk-offs that I've missed despite watching my share of baseball? Banging on helmets, gatorade baths, all of that sure, but "rip the guy's jersey off" isn't part of the repertoire I'm used to. Maybe we're misinterpreting Altuve's body language there via some motivated reasoning.
It's not exactly the norm but it ain't all that rare either. I've seen plenty of instances where a player's jersey (and in some cases even the under shirt) is ripped off.
 

InstaFace

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It's not exactly the norm but it ain't all that rare either. I've seen plenty of instances where a player's jersey (and in some cases even the under shirt) is ripped off.
Thanks, fair enough. Rest of my post stands, though.
 

Van Everyman

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Before we all get too far ahead of ourselves here:

Marly Rivera @MarlyRiveraESPN
13m
The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns.

Marly Rivera from ESPN tweeted:
The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns.
This non-relative is in no way affiliated with the family but apparently did break the news that Beltran was getting canned.
 

EvilEmpire

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If true, I wonder how that worked. Not the tech, but all the batters? Haves and have nots on the same team? Could be some pretty shitty dynamics in all that. Guys get paid for for good stats.
 

DJnVa

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If true, I wonder how that worked. Not the tech, but all the batters? Haves and have nots on the same team? Could be some pretty shitty dynamics in all that. Guys get paid for for good stats.
Sure, but some guys might think it hampers them. Not every hitter wants that kind of info. I'd feel pretty sure about saying that most guys that were offered that and declined did so because they didn't think it would help, not because they thought it was cheating
 

BaseballJones

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Looks like any other wrinkle on his uniform.
And the Patriots' footballs being under inflated on a cold day look just like every other teams' footballs on the same cold day. And the equipment guys' texts look like any other idiotic banter that goes back and forth.

Until....

You start looking at those things through the lens of "omg they cheated". Then a bathroom pit stop on the way to the field suddenly looks suspicious. And a "deflator" text from a year prior suddenly looks it might be referring to an infraction. And.....well, you get the point.

That could be a normal wrinkle, and under normal circumstances it seems crazy to think otherwise. Until you realize that the Astros objectively were caught in a massive cheating operation, and more details are coming out, including the possibility that some players - Altuve included - were wearing a buzzer on the inside of his right shoulder (a pretty specific accusation) - and then you see that this wrinkle is EXACTLY where that buzzer would have been per the accusation.....

And suddenly it looks kinda suspicious, don't you think?
 
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I don't think I'll ever understand why someone would go to those lengths to cheat. At some point you have to look yourself in the mirror and want to know if you were good enough.
 

Hoya81

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I think the buzzer thing is the "Pats taped the Rams walkthrough" of this story. An escalation of already known allegations, not (as yet) corroborated, and eventually becomes the lasting memory of the incident.
 

jon abbey

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I think the buzzer thing is the "Pats taped the Rams walkthrough" of this story. An escalation of already known allegations, not (as yet) corroborated, and eventually becomes the lasting memory of the incident.
I believe the buzzer allegations actually came before the banging ones, people have known about this for a while.
 

chrisfont9

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I think the psychological side of cheating has to do with people looking around at what others are doing as a way to talk themselves into being OK with it. I know in cycling, where all this played out on such a grand scale, riders who tried not to cheat would just get their asses kicked by the cheaters, and face a choice: give up your dream and go home, or "fight back" by cheating. The fact that cheating was everywhere allowed individual riders justify it to themselves. That's a more extreme example compared to baseball, where technology-based sign-stealing is just a shade different from the acceptable forms of sign-stealing. So I can't imagine it was all that tough for at least some less conscientious players to be all in on banging trash cans.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Yeah I'm pretty sure that account is trolling. Check out his leg? Ok, somebody get right on that. Yup, looks like a leg.
 

Captaincoop

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The buzzer thing, if true, demands suspensions of players.

I get that there is a union, but some things are worth facing a potential union grievance. This is one of those things.
 

nighthob

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Unless they lied, and then they would. Domingo German just got suspended for 81 games for a domestic violence issue that was never reported to the police. No pushback from the player or the union, no appeals, punishment accepted, all settled behind closed doors. MLB would do it if they had to, but they preferred not to for the reasons you mention. As is often the case, you get in more trouble for the coverup than the crime.
There's just a sliiiight difference between domestic violence and stealing signs. And trying to suspend them for failing to meet the FBI standard would largely get them laughed out of court.
 

YTF

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I have absolutely no issue with Cora having to take his medicine and honestly ALL Astros' staff and players involved in anyway deserve a little something something as well. That said I have a problem with MLB naming Beltran as a player, but not naming any other players. YES, I understand the whole deal about the nightmare that would be with the MLBPA, the can of worms it opens and the litigation that will sure result from it. With that in mind you can't protect and absolve the others (because that is exactly what MLB has done) and hang Beltran out to dry just because you can or does MLB have a grand plan to reveal the names of others one by one once they are no longer in the game? Of course they don't and because of that I think they've set Beltran up as a "victim" and set themselves up for a lawsuit. I'm curious to hear from some of the legal minds here.
 

jose melendez

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This is bad, but given the mess of this, spyware, and deflagrate, how the hell did the nba get off so easy on Donaghy? No internet?
 

Average Reds

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This is bad, but given the mess of this, spyware, and deflagrate, how the hell did the nba get off so easy on Donaghy? No internet?
No internet and complete, centralized control of information. Stern understood how to control the narrative and he demanded discipline from owners.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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This is bad, but given the mess of this, spyware, and deflagrate, how the hell did the nba get off so easy on Donaghy? No internet?
Donaghy was the same year as Spygate, 2007, so “no internet” doesn’t really explain it. David Stern’s mastery of the media is more the answer.
 

scott bankheadcase

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Also, there's not always a conspiracy theory. The NBA admitted a ref was involved in gambling. The FBI confirmed is was a rogue actor.

So, in general, people moved on.
 

DeadlySplitter

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this buzzer thing is just a mess of conflicting news and media zealots (and fan zealots) searching for stuff that may be there, may not be there
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don't believe it for a second.

I think living through the various Patriot "gates" makes one firmly aware of the trajectory these stories inevitably take.
 

Plympton91

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I think the psychological side of cheating has to do with people looking around at what others are doing as a way to talk themselves into being OK with it. I know in cycling, where all this played out on such a grand scale, riders who tried not to cheat would just get their asses kicked by the cheaters, and face a choice: give up your dream and go home, or "fight back" by cheating. The fact that cheating was everywhere allowed individual riders justify it to themselves. That's a more extreme example compared to baseball, where technology-based sign-stealing is just a shade different from the acceptable forms of sign-stealing. So I can't imagine it was all that tough for at least some less conscientious players to be all in on banging trash cans.
Exactly right and why I have no sympathy for the steroid users. You were not only creating an atmosphere where people had to cheat to be successful, you created an atmosphere where people had to be willing to accept a shorter life expectancy to be successful.
 

djbayko

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I think the buzzer thing is the "Pats taped the Rams walkthrough" of this story. An escalation of already known allegations, not (as yet) corroborated, and eventually becomes the lasting memory of the incident.
I believe the buzzer allegations actually came before the banging ones, people have known about this for a while.
The fact that the buzzer allegation came out before the banging doesn't necessarily make it true. Based on all of the players and ex-players coming out of the woodwork to add their two cents, it's obvious that rumors had been flying around the league for a while. And we all should know how that sort of talk evolves over time.

I don't see MLB risking hiding this information. If it came out later and was then revealed that people testified to this system during the investigation, the league would be even more complicit then they already are (video replay rooms near dugouts without close supervision...really??). This is all very fun to think about. I mean, who doesn't love a good Colangelo-level Twitter sports sleuthing? But I agree with @Hoya81 - it's unlikely to be true.

Frankly, if it were true, I'd wonder why they stopped where they did? I would install 2 buzzers - one on each shoulder, representing the inside and outside part oft he plate, respectively. Then you could convey both pitch type and location and watch the team OPS soar!
 

djbayko

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Talk about a mealy-mouthed denial. "The information may or may not be true but we'll be damned if we don't correct the accusation of the source being a blood relative..."
To be fair, that Tweet contains no direct quotes. Therefore, all we can be sure of the Beltran family attesting to is the information contained in the first sentence. The second looks like it could be author commentary.

Edit: Sorry Carlos D!
 
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jon abbey

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To be fair, that Tweet contains no direct quotes. Therefore, all we can be sure of the Delgado family attesting to is the information contained in the first sentence. The second looks like it could be author commentary.
Carlos Delgado resents being dragged into this whole mess.
 

Teachdad46

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Boy this is just going to keep going, isn't it?

It's going to leak into other teams and the dam will burst.
So IF the dam bursts and it turns out a dozen or more teams were guilty of the same transgressions (they just didn't happen to win the WS via their crime) MLB will have to:
A: rescind punishments already given out, or
B: repeat said punishments and fire a dozen more managers, or
C: somehow explain why the same crime deserves different punishments by the same hand.
This is becoming a full-fledged clusterfuck.
 

lexrageorge

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So IF the dam bursts and it turns out a dozen or more teams were guilty of the same transgressions (they just didn't happen to win the WS via their crime) MLB will have to:
A: rescind punishments already given out, or
B: repeat said punishments and fire a dozen more managers, or
C: somehow explain why the same crime deserves different punishments by the same hand.
This is becoming a full-fledged clusterfuck.
So far, there is actually zero evidence of other teams doing what the Astros were caught doing. Random tweets by people with burner accounts do not qualify as actual evidence.
 

mauf

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So IF the dam bursts and it turns out a dozen or more teams were guilty of the same transgressions (they just didn't happen to win the WS via their crime) MLB will have to:
A: rescind punishments already given out, or
B: repeat said punishments and fire a dozen more managers, or
C: somehow explain why the same crime deserves different punishments by the same hand.
This is becoming a full-fledged clusterfuck.
I assume a critical part of Manfred’s investigation involved determining how widespread illegal sign-stealing was. The punishments suggest he concluded that what the Astros did since the warning in late 2017 was markedly different from what other teams were doing during that time frame.

Because of Cora‘s presence and the Apple Watch incident, Manfred can justify giving a milder punishment to the Red Sox, even if other teams may have been doing the same thing.