Report: Astros Admit Sign Stealing to MLB, Deny Installing Special Camera

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Houston Astros logo in front of their stadium entrance prior to a spring training game against the New York Mets at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 25, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Members of the Houston Astros organization reportedly admitted to stealing signs during recent interviews with Major League Baseball.  

According to SNY's Andy Martino, some of the interviewees said they had access to a live feed from a center field camera that aided in decoding signs in 2017, but they denied that any special cameras were installed for the sole purpose of sign stealing.

The Astros reportedly believed they were "in line with industry standards" because they felt other teams used technology to steal signs as well, but the practice is illegal nonetheless.

In November, current Oakland Athletics and former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich that the Astros used a center field camera to decode signs during the 2017 season.

Per Martino, sources said the camera was league-approved for scouting purposes, so while its presence was not illegal, using it to steal signs was.

One of the witnesses reportedly told Major League Baseball during an interview that they requested a live feed from the center field camera to decode signs, "as many teams do."

In 2017, the Astros won the American League West with a 101-61 record. They later went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win the first World Series championship in franchise history.

Since then, Houston has posted two more 100-win seasons, and it reached the 2019 World Series, but it fell to the Washington Nationals in seven games.

During the 2019 American League Championship Series, Martino reported the New York Yankees raised concern over the Astros using whistling from their dugout to relay stolen signs.

According to Martino, opponents "long suspected" the Astros cheated in 2017, but MLB is still trying to determine exactly how and to what degree they did so.

Punishment could be forthcoming, and the discipline reportedly could be "harsh" for manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.