It seems that the hacking scandal involving the St. Louis Cardinals may finally be coming to a merciful end.
Indications are that Major League Baseball will soon announce the penalties the Redbirds will face for one of their employees illegally accessing a database and email accounts belonging to the Houston Astros.
Evidence that has emerged in the case makes it seem that it’s unlikely the Cardinals were able to actually take advantage of the misdeeds perpetrated by former employee Chris Correa – but that wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Contrary to his original claims that he dropped in on former fellow St. Louis employee Jeff Luhnow’s Astros accounts to see if he was stealing any of the Cardinals’ team secrets, evidence reveals that Correa accessed Astros accounts time and again over a period of several months.
It also seems fairly obvious that, while Correa was able to “hack” into Houston computer files because former Cardinals employees failed to change their passwords when going to work for a competitor, he was really a hack when it came to evaluating baseball players.
Correa was apparently trying to cheat off of someone else’s paper every time it came time to evaluate draft and trade targets.
I’m sure that the Birds are going to pay a price in terms of losing draft picks or paying a fine. But I don’t believe the team endorsed this behavior. Looking at the evidence of the case, it appears that Correa wasn’t working in conjunction with the rest of the front office to steal trade secrets as much as he was desperately trying to cover up the fact that he was in over his head and lousy at his job.
Fortunately for the Cardinals, if there was a good time to have to lose a draft pick – or two or three – this would be it. The St. Louis lower minor leagues are currently stocked with several promising prospects who are working their way through the system. Hopefully, there is enough depth that a one-year interruption on the flow of new talent won’t do too much damage to the big picture.
Let’s not forget that Yadier Molina was taken in the fourth round of the draft, Albert Pujols was taken in the 13th and Keith Hernandez was taken in the 42nd round. Meanwhile, guys like Bret Wallace, Zack Cox and Pete Kozma were first rounders.
So, there are plenty of opportunities to get good players if the front office folks really know what they’re doing.
I’m just glad that this whole sad chapter appears that it’s finally going to be behind us. Baseball, in many ways, is a lot like life. And this is a reminder that even when you think you have every angle covered, there is always something that can come back to bite you.
In an age where the internet and analytics dictate how business is done, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. But it’s a shame that the whole franchise had to be embarrassed by the actions of one foolish person.