Houston Astros accused of cheating, stealing signs using electronic devices during 2017 season, MLB launches probe
Pitcher Mike Fiers, who played for the Astros that season, along with three other unidentified people associated with the club, claimed the team used the system into the playoffs in a report published on Tuesday
Houston Astros are facing scrutiny after they reportedly stole signs during home games in 2017 using a camera positioned in the center field, thereby sparking an investigation by Major League Baseball.
Pitcher Mike Fiers, who played for the Astros that season, along with three other unidentified people associated with the club, were quoted in a report by The Athletic on Tuesday, November 12.
Two sources spoke to the outlet and claimed that Houston Astros, who won the World Series that year, used the system into the playoffs while another source claimed the system ended before the postseason.
According to The Athletic, the process was seemingly started by a struggling hitter and a coach, although neither of them was identified.
The camera at Minute Maid Park was connected to a television monitor in the tunnel between the Astros' dugout and clubhouse, the outlet reported, saying team members would communicate expected pitches by banging a trash can to signal off-speed pitches.
"I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they're going in there not knowing," Fiers said.
The Astros subsequently released a statement saying they have "begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball."
However, the team's general manager Jeff Luhnow avoided going into the specifics. "We take the allegation seriously and we're going to look into it. If you're not following the rules, it's a serious matter," he said at the annual GM meetings held on Tuesday. "I'm not going to get into exactly what I knew or anybody knew at this point. So I'm just going to have to wait and see. But I'm sure there will be an appropriate time to answer that question directly."
Luhnow hoped the allegations wouldn't affect Houston Astros' recent run of success, including their first World Series title in 2017 and an AL pennant this season.
"Teams are competing with one another and everybody's trying to find an edge," Luhnow said. "But we all have to follow the rules and the rules are set by Major League Baseball. We all agree to follow them and if you don't there's ramifications to that. We want to follow the rules and we want to compete and win. That's what every other club does, as well."