The St. Louis Cardinals are being accused of hacking into the Houston Astro’s data system. Some are saying that, if true, this has the makings of one of the biggest scandals in baseball history, with the Cardinals facing huge penalties, people getting banned from baseball, and individuals going to jail.
Jeff Luhnow was an important part of the Cardinals’ brain trust, a data guru who was a master of the statistical analysis that has become dominant in baseball strategy and player evaluation. (See Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.) Recently, Luhnow became the general manager of the Houston Astros, where he has worked wonders, transforming a perennial losing team into one of the best performers of the season. Reportedly, someone in the Cardinals’ organization hacked into his old colleague’s account in Houston, using the same passwords he had used on his Cardinals’ account! (Lesson: change your passwords.)
But isn’t this just a minor prank, on a par with stealing signs? After the jump, read details about what apparently happened, as well as a column from Tom Boswell on why this (if true, I hasten to say) is a very big deal.