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Astros 6 days 20 hours ago #377047

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thespun.com/more/mlb/gerrit-cole-asked-astros-cheating-scandal

Gerrit Cole says he knew nothing! LOL Liar, liar.

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Astros 6 days 19 hours ago #377053

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sjc88 wrote: thespun.com/more/mlb/gerrit-cole-asked-astros-cheating-scandal

Gerrit Cole says he knew nothing! LOL Liar, liar.


Maybe. Lord knows its difficult to give anyone from those Astors teams the benefit of the doubt, but he wasn't there in 2017.

By the time he got there in 2018 a few things had happened that make his stance plausible, at the very least.

1- The league had caught onto them.
2- Fries had caught them using the trash cans in a game which reportedly scared the pants off them and had them remove the monitors at least for a while.
3- MLB had also punished the Red Sox for the Apple watch issue that post-season and issued an edict to the league that future use of technology to steal signs would be dealt with harshly.
4- Cora left to manage the Red Sox
5- Beltran had retired and taken an advisor position with the Yankees.

If you are one of the guys who cheated in 2017 and you are going into 2018 intending to cheat you have to up your game. That means using different techniques (buzzer?). If I'm in that clubhouse and want to continue this in 2018 and the two RINGLEADERS are now on in the Red Sox and Yankee organizations the lesson I learn is that if I'm going to ignore the league edict and continue to cheat, I have to have a small circle of core players involved. Guys that will be there for a long time. If you include everyone then it's far more likely that one of the fringe guys is going to be on another team the following year and you'd have to worry about being exposed. Or at least you'd have to come up with a new way to do it since you'd have to assume that player told his new team what the scheme was in 2018.

Also, the last players you are going to include in the new high tech scheme are AL pitchers who never hit.

If Cole had been on the 2017 team there's no way he wouldn't have know. But since he came in fresh in 2018 it's more likely that he's telling the truth than it is that he's lying. There'd have been no reason to tell him, and no trash can banging to give it away.

He had probably heard the rumors about Houston like everyone else, but I doubt very much the new ringleaders would have "read him in" to the new program. Since he was never going to hit and was a free agent in two season.

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Astros 5 days 14 hours ago #377145

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The Astros’ Front Office Created Codebreaker. The Players Took It From There.

In a 2017 email, an Astros executive called outfielder Carlos Beltrán ‘the godfather of the whole program’


By Jared Diamond

Feb. 12, 2020 / Wall Street Journal

On Aug. 26, 2017, Tom Koch-Weser sent an email to several colleagues in the Houston Astros front office that included an update on the state of the team’s “dark arts, sign-stealing department.”

Utility man Marwin González, Koch-Weser wrote, was having great success with the information procured by the Astros’ illicit efforts, cutting down on his rate of swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. But somebody else was having trouble with it: veteran outfielder Carlos Beltrán.

“Beltrán, who is the godfather of the whole program, ironically just swings at everything after taking a strike and probably does the worst with the info,” Koch-Weser wrote.

The message clarifies a critical point about the cheating operation that has transformed into one of the biggest scandals in American sports history. Neither the players alone, nor the front office, is to blame. The Astros’ rule-breaking permeated the organization, involving executives, coaches and players.





Until now, it has been hard to know who really drove the cheating scheme. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred twice used the phrase “player-driven” to describe the Astros’ cheating in his public report released last month. That’s because much of the report focused on the now-infamous “banging scheme” of 2017—players watching a live feed on a monitor installed near their home dugout and relaying pitch information to hitters in real time by slamming on a trash can with a bat. MLB considered the banging scheme to be the Astros’ most egregious crime and believe it to have been primarily executed by players.

But an earlier private letter from Manfred to then-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, the contents of which were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, revealed that members of the front office played an active role, too. They devised an Excel-based application internally called “Codebreaker” for the purpose of decoding opposing catchers’ signs.

The interplay between players and executives was inherent to the sign-stealing program from the start. In 2016, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman, then a rookie, mentioned to video room staffers at one point that other teams were better at stealing signs when runners were on second base than the Astros, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Three people familiar with the matter said that Bregman wasn’t telling the Astros to cheat, but rather suggesting that they could find a way to decode signs legally. The Astros didn’t provide comment on behalf of their employees. The MLB Players Association declined to comment.

The conversation eventually led to Derek Vigoa, then an intern and now the Astros’ director of team operations, delivering a PowerPoint presentation to Luhnow in September 2016 that featured a slide devoted to Codebreaker. (Luhnow was suspended for the entire 2020 season last month and then fired by the Astros.)

One of the people familiar with the matter said that once Codebreaker went into action, the people most interested in sign-stealing were Beltrán and bench coach Alex Cora. Beltrán, who retired after the 2017 campaign, was the only player named in Manfred’s public report for his involvement in the sign-stealing. It cost him his job as manager of the New York Mets before he ever worked a single game. Beltrán didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Cora was let go from his post as the skipper for the Boston Red Sox. Manfred is expected to level severe discipline against Cora when he releases the league’s findings into allegations of similar cheating by the Red Sox in 2018. Cora acknowledged a request for comment but didn’t elaborate further.




On May 24, 2017, Koch-Weser, who is still employed by the Astros, sent an email to Luhnow and others that highlights Cora and Beltrán’s roles.

“I don’t want to electronically correspond too much about ‘the system’ but Cora/Cintron/Beltran have been driving a culture initiated by Bregman/Vigoa last year and I think it’s working,” Koch-Weser wrote. “I have no proof that it has worked, but we get real good dope on pitchers tipping and being lazy. That information, if it’s not already, will eventually yield major results in our favor once players get used to the implementation.” (Alex Cintrón was an Astros assistant coach in 2017 and is now their hitting coach. He was believed to be involved in transmitting information from the video room to the dugout, a person familiar said.)

Koch-Weser and other Astros video room staffers told MLB investigators that they were unaware of the Astros’ banging scheme until September 2017, when Danny Farquhar, then a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, appeared to notice the noises emanating from the Astros’ dugout. Manfred wrote in his public report that the incident caused a sense of “panic” in the Houston dugout, and a group of players removed the monitor near the dugout and hid it in an office.

The banging scheme started around June 2017, with Cora and Beltrán among the most responsible for its implementation, according to a person familiar with the matter. It was Cora who had a tech worker install the monitor that the Astros’ players watched before banging on the trash can, this person said.


But while it started with Cora and Beltrán, it quickly spread. Manfred’s Jan. 2 letter to Luhnow, which was reviewed by the Journal, said that, “Most or all Astros players were active participants in the Banging Scheme by the conclusion of the 2017 World Series,” which ended with Houston winning in seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers. “The Banging Scheme was so prevalent,” Manfred wrote, “that witnesses regularly describe that everyone in and around the Astros dugout was presumptively aware of it.”

Koch-Weser’s August email that called Beltrán the “godfather,” which was quoted in Manfred’s letter to Luhnow, was referring to the video room sign-stealing operation. It singled out González as particularly benefiting from it. “Marwin I’d say does the best job with getting this info,” Koch-Weser wrote.


González, who signed a two-year, $21 million contract with the Minnesota Twins last February, declined a request for comment from the Journal. He spoke with reporters at the team’s spring training camp in Fort Myers, Fla., on Tuesday and apologized generally for the Astros’ cheating.

“I’m remorseful for everything that happened in 2017, for everything that we did as a group and for the players that were affected directly by us doing this,” he said.

González had by far his best season in 2017, hitting .303 with a .907 OPS in 455 at-bats, up from his career totals of .264 and .737, respectively. He also set personal bests with 23 home runs and 90 RBIs. Tony Adams, an Astros fan who watched 8,274 pitches from 58 home games during the 2017 season and logged every instance he could hear a banging sound, heard banging on 147 pitches thrown to González, the most of anybody on the team.

“We’ve seen huge declines from him in chase and swing rates,” Koch-Weser wrote.

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Astros 5 days 9 hours ago #377161

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Astros 5 days 9 hours ago #377162

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NM

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Astros 5 days 3 hours ago #377164

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SJUFAN2 wrote: WOW.

If you are interested in this story, and missed the Astros press conference this morning addressing this scandal, find the video and watch it. Their owner is a tool. He just messed this up even more than Manfred has.

Too little contrition, too much deflection by referring back to the MLB report, and virtually no details or apologies.

This scandal is quite literally like herpes. It's "the gift that keeps on giving."


Wow.....I agree, the owner was pathetic in that press conference. Says his position is that it didn't impact the game. Then back tracks when a reporter calls him out on the comment.

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Astros 5 days 1 hour ago #377179

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The Astros Apologized for Cheating. Their Competitors Aren’t Satisfied.

As spring training opens, players are issuing a searing critique of both Houston’s actions and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s leniency


By Jared Diamond / WALL STREET JOURNAL

Feb. 15, 2020

The Houston Astros’ players received no punishment for their role in the sign-stealing scandal that continues to dominate the baseball world. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made sure of that by promising them immunity in exchange for honest testimony during the league’s investigation of the cheating scheme.

But as spring training camps opened across Florida and Arizona this week, the Astros’ competitors—and fellow union members—are issuing a searing critique of both the team’s actions and Manfred’s leniency.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger, the reigning National League MVP, tore into the Astros on Friday, saying that, “Everyone knows they stole the ring from us.” (The Astros defeated the Dodgers in seven games in the World Series in 2017, the season Houston players illicitly used technology to relay opposing catchers’ signals to batters in real time.)

Bellinger didn’t stop there. He accused Astros second baseman José Altuve of stealing the MVP award that year from the runner-up, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge. He used the word “weak” to describe both Manfred’s decision to exclude players from discipline and Houston owner Jim Crane’s comments Thursday that this situation doesn’t diminish the Astros’ title.

“I lost respect for those guys,” Bellinger said of the Astros. “I would say everyone in the Show, in the big leagues, lost respect for those guys.”




Players across the sport watched the Astros address the media Thursday with intense interest—and they didn’t necessarily like what they saw. Most Astros players apologized generally for what happened but offered few specifics. They also said that they didn’t believe they owed the Dodgers any extra remorse.

“I saw a couple of interviews, and they all said pretty much the same thing: They skated by everything. They swept everything under the rug,” Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea told the San Francisco Chronicle. “They didn’t own up to anything and they’re trying to move on which is like—what are you guys trying to move on from? You haven’t even said what it is you did.”

Several players talked about integrity and credibility—and how in their minds, the Astros don’t have much anymore.

“I think a lot of us are looking forward to 50 years from now telling our grandkids we played the game the right way,” Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling told reporters. “I hope they know they can’t say that because they didn’t.”

Pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who won World Series MVP honors last fall en route to leading the Washington Nationals to a championship over the Astros, invoked his future offspring as well.

“I’m going to hopefully have some grandkids and be able to sit down and talk to them about the experience of the World Series and not really feel ashamed of it all,” he said.


Washington Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle took a more measured tone, but expressed similar disappointment, especially for pitchers the Astros smacked around under false pretenses. One of those pitchers, Mike Bolsinger, recently filed a lawsuit against the Astros for negatively impacting his career. Bolsinger allowed four runs in an outing against the Astros in August 2017 and never appeared in the majors again.

Doolittle also brought up the potential of lost playoff bonuses not just for players, but for support staff that for whom the extra money would truly matter.

“There’s lots of layers to this, so it’s going to take more than one day of issuing statements and answering questions to feel good about moving on from this,” Doolittle said.

Doolittle and Strasburg’s general manager in Washington, Mike Rizzo, added more fuel to the fire, lamenting the fact that the Astros’ cheating has overshadowed the Nationals’ title. The two teams share a spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Rizzo couldn’t help but notice the outsized crowd on the Astros’ side this week.

“Someone has got to say the word over there—‘cheated,’” Rizzo said. “That’s important to me.”



Baseball players rarely speak so strongly about their own ranks, a sign of how severe the Astros’ misconduct is in the eyes of their fraternity. Without a doubt, the Major League Baseball Players Association would prefer that players not publicly call for punishment for other players, especially after the league and union agreed to the immunity deal.

But union officials understand the frustration and anger bubbling in their players right now and consider their rhetoric as justifiable venting. They hope to leverage those emotions into productive discussions with the league about meaningful changes that would prevent future scandals of this nature.

MLB and the MLBPA hope to reach an agreement at some point soon on updated regulations pertaining to the use of technology and video during games. These could involve changes to the replay review room, the only place near the dugout that still has a live feed of the game. So while Nationals ace Max Scherzer acknowledged that the Astros “crossed a moral line and cheated,” he said, “We’re trying to make sure that this can’t happen again.”
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Astros 4 days 12 hours ago #377262

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www.nj.com/yankees/2020/02/yankees-shoul...zer-controversy.html

The buzzer, the theories suggest, would alert Altuve and other Astros players who might have been using them as to what pitch was coming next.

At the time, Altuve said he didn’t want his jersey ripped off because he was shy ... and because his wife didn’t want It to happen.

Well, Correa offered a third reason:

So when he’s running from third base to home plate, I’m the guy up front. The first one waiting for him. He’s like, “Don’t take my shirt off.” The second reason — he doesn’t want me to talk about this, but I’m going to say it, is because he’s got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible. It was a bad tattoo, and he didn’t want nobody to see it. He didn’t want to show it at all.

So, one, he didn’t want to take his shirt off because his wife had told my wife earlier in the year for me to not do that. So he was telling me not to do it. And, number two, he had an unfinished tattoo that looked kinda bad that he didn’t want people to see and people to talk about. That was the reason.

By the way, this explanation doesn’t address why Altuve immediately ran to the dugout instead of celebrating with his teammates, and then re-emerged minutes later with a brand new shirt.

Insert eye roll.

thecomeback.com/mlb/jose-altuve-shirt-ta...g-excuse-astros.html

Everyone needs to see Jose Altuve’s ‘unfinished tattoo’ that Carlos Correa claims exists ASAP

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Astros 4 days 9 hours ago #377270

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T & J wrote: www.nj.com/yankees/2020/02/yankees-shoul...zer-controversy.html

The buzzer, the theories suggest, would alert Altuve and other Astros players who might have been using them as to what pitch was coming next.

At the time, Altuve said he didn’t want his jersey ripped off because he was shy ... and because his wife didn’t want It to happen.

Well, Correa offered a third reason:

So when he’s running from third base to home plate, I’m the guy up front. The first one waiting for him. He’s like, “Don’t take my shirt off.” The second reason — he doesn’t want me to talk about this, but I’m going to say it, is because he’s got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible. It was a bad tattoo, and he didn’t want nobody to see it. He didn’t want to show it at all.

So, one, he didn’t want to take his shirt off because his wife had told my wife earlier in the year for me to not do that. So he was telling me not to do it. And, number two, he had an unfinished tattoo that looked kinda bad that he didn’t want people to see and people to talk about. That was the reason.

By the way, this explanation doesn’t address why Altuve immediately ran to the dugout instead of celebrating with his teammates, and then re-emerged minutes later with a brand new shirt.

Insert eye roll.

thecomeback.com/mlb/jose-altuve-shirt-ta...g-excuse-astros.html

Everyone needs to see Jose Altuve’s ‘unfinished tattoo’ that Carlos Correa claims exists ASAP


Who cares, they cheated. Baseball powers that be don’t care, just like CBB powers that be don’t care about cheating. As long as TV pays and people pay to get in arenas all they care about is damage control once it is discovered.

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Astros 4 days 7 hours ago #377271

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Logen wrote:

T & J wrote: www.nj.com/yankees/2020/02/yankees-shoul...zer-controversy.html

The buzzer, the theories suggest, would alert Altuve and other Astros players who might have been using them as to what pitch was coming next.

At the time, Altuve said he didn’t want his jersey ripped off because he was shy ... and because his wife didn’t want It to happen.

Well, Correa offered a third reason:

So when he’s running from third base to home plate, I’m the guy up front. The first one waiting for him. He’s like, “Don’t take my shirt off.” The second reason — he doesn’t want me to talk about this, but I’m going to say it, is because he’s got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible. It was a bad tattoo, and he didn’t want nobody to see it. He didn’t want to show it at all.

So, one, he didn’t want to take his shirt off because his wife had told my wife earlier in the year for me to not do that. So he was telling me not to do it. And, number two, he had an unfinished tattoo that looked kinda bad that he didn’t want people to see and people to talk about. That was the reason.

By the way, this explanation doesn’t address why Altuve immediately ran to the dugout instead of celebrating with his teammates, and then re-emerged minutes later with a brand new shirt.

Insert eye roll.

thecomeback.com/mlb/jose-altuve-shirt-ta...g-excuse-astros.html

Everyone needs to see Jose Altuve’s ‘unfinished tattoo’ that Carlos Correa claims exists ASAP


Who cares, they cheated. Baseball powers that be don’t care, just like CBB powers that be don’t care about cheating. As long as TV pays and people pay to get in arenas all they care about is damage control once it is discovered.


Oh they'll care, when they start getting hit with fastballs, base runners makes a hard slide into 2nd hopefully breaking Altuves ankle.
If anything like that happens then that's on Manfred, everyone on that team should be fined 10mill each, the championship taking away and barred from the season the next 5 years. If they win the west, then the 2nd place team in the west get 1st place. That would make sure cheating never happens again. If they don't pay up then they're suspended for the season, better call up the minors.

Look at the Astros, it's like they're joking about it, they don't care. It's like they're saying to damn bad, we cheated, we got out championship, so live with it and move on.
With how I see it, the players have no other choice but to take care of it themselves. If someone throws a 100mph fastball at Altuves head, then he and the Astros will have to deal with it.

No one wants injuries but how they're acting, no one will feel bad if one of their key players gets hurt bad. They did it to themselves, justice will come from the players, and it looks like players on alot of teams are pissed.

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