Dear Cardinals, If You’re Going to Cheat, Do it Right

Jeff Luhnow was an executive with the Cardinals before moving south to run the Astros. While in St. Louis, he and his comrades developed a simple computer network called “Redbird” that was used to store baseball knowledge — seemingly, everything from scouting information to general trade discussions.

When Luhnow moved down south, the Astros created a similar network called “Ground Control” and according to the New York Times, some folks Luhnow used to work with in St. Louis thought it might be clever to use Luhnow’s old passwords to hack into the Astros database.

This is stupid on a number of levels — mostly at the base level.

The Astros found out, reported it to the MLB, and now the FBI is hot on the trail of some idiot executives who hacked the Astros database from a house connected to the Cardinals.

A Bloomberg article describes the computer system as one that takes a player’s variables and “weights them according to the values determined by the team’s statisticians, physicist, doctors, scouts, and coaches.” Sounds like something worth stealing. But like anything in life, if you’re going to do something, do it right.

This careless act of password-stealing and logging in is akin to my students completing a closed-book essay, in class, with their book open in front of me.

This, let’s see if no one notices approach is similar to the deflategate scandal.

After the Astros noticed the “hack” — probably via automated email from a fifteen-dollar security plugin, the FBI started digging and “soon found that the Astros’ network had been entered from a computer at a home that some Cardinals officials had lived in. The agents then turned their attention to the team’s front office.”

The real shame here is that the Cardinals have been perhaps the best organization in baseball for the past twenty years, and now, because of a handful of idiots, they have a black eye or perhaps in this case a giant zit. Let’s see if Rob Manfred pops it, or just tries to put some concealer on.

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Tomas Laverty
Tomas Laverty, frequent contributor to the MLB section, runs a Detroit web design company called Detroit Spaces.

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