Thought it might be useful to go back and - with sources - figure out the timeline of just how this franchise went from the pinnacle of achievement to...whatever it is now.
November 15, 2016
After Trey Hillman surprisingly took the manager role for SK Wyverns in South Korea, the Astros announced the hiring of Alex Cora as A.J. Hinch's bench coach.
December 3, 2016
The Astros signed Carlos Beltran to a 1yr/$16m deal for the 2017 season.
June 2, 2017
The Astros beat the Rangers 7-1. Robinson Chirinos:
Knowing when we played with Carlos Beltran here last year, the guys (on the Astros) steal signs like crazy on second base. That's why I was going to the mound every pitch, switching signs, making sure those guys wouldn't relay signs to the hitter. I think when we struck out Correa, we switched the signs just before we went to hit; if you see his swing, he was late because they thought we were trying the slider....it's because they were relaying the wrong signs from second base. We knew that when we went to play in Houston, that's just something we have to do...because we know those guys are relaying signs when they have a guy on second base.
All seven of the Astros' runs that game came with a runner on second.
August 4, 2017
The Astros beat the Blue Jays 16-7. Mike Bolsinger allowed 4H/4ER, 1K:3BB and never pitched in the Majors again. SignStealingScandal.com says this game was when the trash-can banging peaked in the 2017 season.
September 5, 2017
The New York Times reports that the Red Sox were using Apple Watches to relay signals to batters in real time. The Red Sox immediately filed a complaint against the Yankees for using a live feed from a camera.
September 6, 2017
Yahoo's Jeff Passan posted an article entitled, "The shocking history of sign stealing in baseball." Passan:
Almost every team in baseball blurs the line of cheating on a daily basis, executives, coaches and assorted major league personnel told Yahoo Sports...Devices like cell phones and Apple Watches are not allowed in dugouts...and iPads are, because MLB partnered with Apple to allow them as a replacement for managers' information-stuffed binders. Meanwhile, teams position replay monitors mere feet outside the dugout - legally - and can gain every bit the advantage Boston sought. "Everyone can have a phone or TV right behind the dugout, two steps away" one general manager said. "And everyone does."
Passan noted that Boston's transgressions were...
...particularly stupid because while no rule outlaws sign stealing, the no-technology-in-the-dugout statute is well-known. Nonetheless, sources familiar with the investigation do not expect the penalties on the Red Sox to be harsh. The suggestion they will vacate victories against the Yankees is nonsensical, and the likelihood MLB will dock them draft picks is minimal. The most likely upshot is a fine for the organization, with possible suspensions for those involved in the actual scheme, according to sources.
Buster Olney reported that the Red Sox gave evidence to Manfred's office of the Yankees using a YES Network camera trained on Boston bench coach Gary DiSarcina at Yankee Stadium. Olney:
That particular camera show was one of those that the Red Sox received in their video room feed, and according to a source, they were so concerned about it - and about whether it was being used to steal signs from DiSarcina - that they had their bench coach alter his position in the dugout.
An industry source also indicated that the Red Sox were aware of that particular camera angle being used by the New York Yankees on at least one other occasion, but that this time they had captured the images that were forwarded to the commissioner's office...Sources also indicated on Wednesday afternoon that as this issue began to fester in recent weeks, the hope of the commissioner's office was that the rivals would keep their sign-stealing allegations under wraps and out of public consumption.
September 15, 2017
The Red Sox and Yankees were fined by MLB for improper usage of technology during games - the Red Sox for the Apple Watches and the Yankees for improper use of a dugout phone. Rob Manfred issued a statement warning MLB to not improperly use technology for the purpose of stealing signs. Manfred:
Taking all of these factors as well as past precedent into account, I have decided to fine the Red Sox an undisclosed amount which in turn will be donated by my office to hurricane relief efforts in Florida. Moreover, all 30 Clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.
October 22, 2017
The Red Sox announced that Alex Cora would be their new manager.
November 1, 2017
The Astros win their first World Series championship.
January 19, 2018
Lance McCullers tweeted:
You can’t limit mound visits, especially from the catcher, when everyone is using adv tech to steal signs. You have to change them too often to try to keep things as “even” as possible. And I’m not talking about signs when a man is on second. https://t.co/VsNhPMlnWX— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) January 19, 2018
January 29, 2018
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal filed a story noting from an MLB official that their investigation concluded that the 2016 Yankees liked to receive signals about pitches, but the 2017 team thought it was too much of a distraction. An anonymous manager had an idea to combat electronic surveillance:
The simplest solution to me is to put an MLB person in your replay room - that's the only way. The issue is the replay room. There is a camera (angle) in the replay room fixed on the catcher at all times.
March 27, 2018
MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre sent a three-page memo to all 30 Club Presidents which read, in bold print:
To be clear, the use of any equipment in the clubhouse or in a Club's replay or video rooms to decode an opposing Club's signs during the game violates this Regulation.
April 23, 2018
FanGraphs' Travis Sawchik wrote that the Rockies were going to great lengths to make sure their signs weren't getting stolen.
Astros Assistant GM Brandon Taubman confronted a Yankees employee in center-field at Yankee Stadium who he thought was using a camera to steal signs. The Athletic:
The Astros at that time believed the Yankees were using a camera to zoom in on the catcher's signs. According to a source, MLB previously had given the Yankees approval to use the camera, which the team viewed as a coaching tool.
Joel Sherman later wrote:
The Yankees recognized that someone operating a camera manually would have raised their suspicions, so they recognized the Astros concern. So, Yankees assistant GM Jean Afterman called MLB's senior VP of operations, Peter Woodfork, to alert him of the incident and to remind that permission had been granted for the camera. Yankees GM Brian Cashman called his Astros counterpart, Luhnow, to also explain that this was a non-live feed camera designed for scouting purposes. The Astros, with the information, decided not to make any charges with MLB, and the matter was dropped. The Yankees and MLB did not want to comment on this matter, and Taubman did not respond to an interview request about the incident.
October 9, 2018
The Red Sox called the Indians to ask how the Astros swept them in the ALDS.
October 13, 2018
During the 3rd Inning of ALCS G1 Kyle McLaughlin is removed from the media-credentialed area next to the Red Sox dugout.
October 16, 2018
Jeff Passan reported that Cleveland warned Boston about the Astros' attempts to steal their signs and that, according to two MLB players, the Astros would use a trash can to signal the next pitch to the batter. Passan:
The Los Angeles Dodgers also believed the Astros were stealing signs during the World Series last season, according to two sources.
October 17, 2018
Cleveland filed a complaint with MLB about the Astros' trying to steal their signs by having an employee film inside their dugout during ALDS Game 3. Paul Hoynes:
The Astros reportedly try to train cameras on the opposing catcher, manager and bench coach in an effort to steal signs and pick up tendencies...Complaining about sign stealing is always a two-edged sword in the big leagues because so many teams do it. Boston manager Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach last year when the Astros won the World Series. So if the Astros have any tricks up their sleeve he would know about them.
MLB released a statement clearing the Astros, saying that the Astros were trying to make sure the Indians weren't stealing their signs.
Joel Sherman reported that Luhnow...
acknowledged he used the equivalent of a surveillance crew in each visiting stadium this season to "play defense" against the potential of other teams using nefarious means to cheat - namely using real-time technologies to steal signs.
October 18, 2018
The Athletic's Robert Murray writes that the Brewers thought the Dodgers were using video to pick up signs. Murray, via a Brewers official:
One person inside the organization said that on videos of the games, a coach could be seen running from the hallway into the Dodgers' dugout whenever a runner reached second base, possibly a sign that L.A. was relaying a pitchers' sequences to the runner during those at-bats.
Another Brewers official:
[The Dodgers] use video people to get sequences. It's known throughout the league. MLB knows it's an issue.
It's one thing if your signs suck and the runner on second base can tell, but when you have a video person trained on the signs, that's not right.
Later that night, The Red Sox won their 4th straight game against the Astros to go to the World Series.
October 20, 2018
Alex Cora went on a Boston radio show:
That is part of the game - tipping, stealing signs, relaying pitches and paying attention to details. That is the way I took it. If [the Astros] feel that way about us, we might as well push the envelope and keep doing a lot of things that are going to make them uncomfortable and you saw it.
Evan Drellich - then with NBC Sports Boston - reported that the Astros guy removed from near the Boston dugout during Game 1 (Kyle McLaughlin) was also with Brandon Taubman in New York in May. MLB:
A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules. All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution. We consider the matter closed.
October 26, 2018
Scott Miller wrote that the Red Sox caught LA's Manny Machado stealing signs and relaying them to home plate.
November 2, 2018
Tom Verducci wrote that using technology to steal signs is the biggest threat to the integrity of baseball. Verducci:
Three years ago, if you walked into the Dodgers' video room behind their Dodger Stadium dugout you would likely have found Zack Greinke pouring over video of opposing hitters, looking for any edge he could find to match up his stuff against their weakness. This year, if you walked into the same room you would have found a small army of 20-something analysts in polo shirts and slacks pouring over video from the in-house cameras, like the security room at a Vegas casino. Most teams train their cameras on the catcher, the pitcher (from several angles), the third base coach and the dugout.
About six teams [in 2018] were commonly understood to have installed in-house cameras in centerfield that were trained on opposing catchers' signs, according to one general manager. Several other teams were under heavy suspicion.
The teams in question were not identified.
February 19, 2019
Rob Manfred announced a series of rule changes designed to limit electronic sign-stealing.
April 22, 2019
The Dallas Morning-News reported that new Rangers manager/former Dodgers 3B coach Chris Woodward doesn't mind being known for stealing signs:
The Rangers are quickly gaining a reputation around the league as adept sign stealers. It is not a crime with which manager Chris Woodward has any concern being connected...Over the weekend, Houston manager A.J. Hinch suggested the Rangers had picked up pitches from Gerrit Cole during a Saturday thrashing. It was the second time Cole had faced the Rangers in the first four weeks of the season. If there were trends or signs to pick up, facing him twice in a short period of time would only increase that possibility. Woodward came from the Los Angeles organization, which was considered one of the most advanced when it came to identifying pitch tipping and sign stealing.
You know what you are holding. Now, if you had a chance to know what both cards the dealer has are, wouldn't that increase your chances of success? And if you knew (what) the dealer had with those two cards before you even placed your bet, wouldn't that increase your wager?
June 30, 2019
After the Yankees beat the Red Sox in London (17-13 and 12-8), Alex Cora said:
I was joking with somebody that (the Yankees') biggest free-agent acquisition is Carlos Beltran. [here Cora winks]. I know how it works. He's helping a lot. They're paying attention to details, and we have to clean our details. It was eye-opening, the last few days - from top to bottom. And I'm not saying devices - all that stuff.
[Watch video of the remarks - with the winking and the pronunciation of "devices" - here]
October 2, 2019
Bleacher Report's Scott Miller publishes the article, "You Can't Trust Nobody: Inside MLB's War on High-Tech Sign Stealing." Miller:
The plundering peaked during the 2017 World Series between the Dodgers and Houston Astros, club and league sources believe, a Fall Classic that has become known as the wild, Wild West of technological espionage...
...Given assurances of anonymity, several league sources indicate the Astros, Dodgers, Red Sox, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks have been especially adept with technological surveillance. One source mentions the Cubs and Washington Nationals dabble a bit "but not as much as others." Another source says the Indians, while still another notes the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers were once suspected as well.
Cubs pitcher Jon Lester:
Now, you've got cameras that are focused directly on the catcher's crotch, and you've got guys trying to figure out sequences from that. It makes it difficult, and the product of it is the passed balls and wild pitches.
On whether MLB should go to a mic/earpiece system between pitchers and catchers (as suggested by Girardi in Miller's article), Alex Cora:
It's kind of like drug-testing. Chemists say [the cheats] are always one step ahead. It's kind of the same thing here.
October 12, 2019
The Yankees took ALCS G1, 7-0. New York manager Aaron Boone apparently asked Home Plate Umpire Bill Welke about "whistling sounds" coming from the Astros dugout. Yankees 3B Coach Phil Nevin told Alex Bregman:
Tell your f***ing hitting coach I'm going to kick his f***ing ass.
October 13, 2019
The Astros won Game 2, 3-2, in 11 innings on Carlos Correa's walk-off. The whistling had apparently stopped.
October 15, 2019
Yankees manager Joe Girardi (2008-2017), in a segment on MLB Tonight called "Sign Stealing Paranoia", says (beginning at 4:16) "I was part of a system where it came from upstairs, to someone in the dugout, to the hit- to the guy on second base."
To be fair, Girardi was pointing at Second Base when he said it but...
October 16, 2019
SNY's Andy Martino:
Yankees players and coaches became angry with the Astros during Game 1 of the ALCS when they noticed a whistling sound in the Astros' dugout - which they believed was an over-the-line example of sign stealing, and a violation of the game's unwritten rules. According to three sources, a Yankees coach noticed a whistling sound in the opposing dugout on certain pitches on Saturday night in Houston. The Yankees started yelling across the field, and people in the dugouts argued back and forth.
A major league coach - not for the Yankees - noted the unproven suspicions that the Astros use cameras to get signs. "They are NASA," the coach said.
October 17, 2019
It made me laugh because it's ridiculous. And had I known that it would take something like that to set off the Yankees or any other team, we would have practiced it in Spring Training. It apparently works, even when it doesn't happen. So to me, I understand the gamesmanship. I understand kind of creating a narrative for yourself or wondering how things are going...
...There's nothing going on other than the competition on the field. The fact that I had to field the question before a really, really cool game at Yankee Stadium is unfortunate. But we can put it to rest. That will be the last question I answer about pitch-tipping or pitch-stealing.
October 19, 2019
With Jake Marisnick on deck, the Astros won the Pennant on Jose Altuve's walk-off home run off of Aroldis Chapman, minutes after Roberto Osuna allowed a two-run home run to DJ LeMahieu.
Brandon Taubman, more than an hour after the game:
Thank God we got Osuna! I'm so f***ing glad we got Osuna!
October 21, 2019
SI reporter Stephanie Apstein wrote that Taubman was extremely aggressive.
And that's the irony of that interaction with Taubman. None of those women were talking to him. They weren't even talking about Osuna. Taubman brought him up.
Hunter Atkins backed her up. The Astros released a statement calling Apstein's report "misleading and irresponsible." More Astros:
(Taubman) was supporting (Osuna) during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else - they were also not directed toward any specific reporters
October 22, 2019
Taubman made a statement:
This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed. In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue....I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.
NPR's David Folkenflik put the Taubman story on All Things Considered, drawing the attention of a larger crowd. ESPN reported that MLB is going to investigate the Taubman incident.
Houston hosted Game 1 of the 2019 World Series, and lost 5-4.
October 24, 2019
The Astros fired Brandon Taubman. A statement:
Our initial belief was based on witness statements about the incident. Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman's inappropriate comments, were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters. Accordingly, we have terminated Brandon Taubman's employment with the Houston Astros. His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action.
Reddit user Meme-Engineer posts:
I had a dream a couple weeks back when the Astros were playing the Rays, it was that after the post season finished a news story came out that the Astros had a team of people deciphering signs with cameras and then that team relayed the signal to transponders that were worn in the cleats of the top (trusted not to snitch) Astros players, the transponders would vibrate according to what pitch was coming (example: once for fastball, twice for off-speed). But it was just a dream haha. That wouldn't happen.
October 25, 2019
Jeff Passan wrote an article on the toxic environment of the Astros' front office. Passan:
Around the game, shots of schadenfreude have been chased by I-told-you-so's. Contempt for the Astros runs deep - and has well before this incident. Jealousy breeds some of it. The organization's arrogance accounts for the rest. The Astros painted themselves as a disrupter and reveled in the commotion. They lived with the perception that they didn't understand people. They fed their process, followed it with fealty, doubled down. They believed in it, and they never had much of a reason not to, not until a week ago, when the assistant GM high on the feeling of winning the pennant opened his mouth, and two days later when Luhnow and the Astros forgot to abide by that essential principle that has guided them for so long: Bad information leads to bad decisions.
October 30, 2019
Howie Kendrick hit a literal miracle off of Will Harris and the Nationals won the 2019 World Series. Gerrit Cole stayed in the bullpen.
November 1, 2019
Carlos Beltran is hired as the manager of the New York Mets. The Athletic's Rustin Dodd published an article about how Carlos Beltran was "a game-changer" in Houston. Alex Bregman:
"I think Carlos Beltran helped out the Yankees this year a lot. Like a lot lot." The statement came accompanied by a wry smile and a lack of specifics. A follow-up inquiry was unsuccessful. "He helps a lot behind the scenes," Bregman said, holding his expression.
BBWAA Member and Cardinals beat writer Jeff Jones tweeted that the three teams who are "most egregious" about electronic sign-stealing are Houston, Arlington, and Milwaukee.
November 13, 2019Wait... what....? https://t.co/z4i9MHTAVr— Aaron Judge (@TheJudge44) November 12, 2019
Jomboy posted a video on Twitter of Evan Gattis batting preceded by banging sounds, then does the same for Reddick and Altuve. And Correa. And Springer. And Bregman. Drellich and Rosenthal reported that Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Mets manager Carlos Beltran are connected to the scandal.
MLB notified the MLBPA that there would be an investigation into the allegations brought by Fiers. A statement by the MLBPA regarding the original communication:
MLB said from the outset that it was not their intention to discipline players. This was not surprising because the applicable rules did not allow for player discipline...
MLB interviewed Craig Bjornson, the 2017 Astros hitting coach who followed Cora to Boston in 2018.
November 14, 2019
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that MLB's investigation would expand beyond the 2017 Astros and include other teams...including the 2019 Astros. Passan:
The fallout from former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers telling The Athletic that the 2017 Astros used a center-field camera feed in a monitor near the dugout to steal and relay signs has rocked the sport and brought into question the methods used by people involved in at least the past three World Series, sources said.
Passan said MLB intended to interview Brandon Taubman, though he had retained a lawyer through whom he was communicating.
Here's a video of a Marwin AB against the Blue Jays. Ryan Spaeder got a text from "A Ballplayer:"
The Astros aren't the only team trying to steal signs. Every team does the camera shit.
November 15, 2019
Baseball Prospectus' Rob Arthur isolated audio from a number of 2017 Astros games and found that the trash-can banging literally left an (audio) mark.
November 16, 2019
Rosenthal/Drellich published a story in which the Astros sent an email in August 2017 to scouts asking if it was possible to get signs from the dugout. The email read, in part:
One thing in specific we are looking for is picking up signs coming out of the dugout. What we are looking for is how much we can see, how we would log things, if we need cameras/binoculars, etc. So go to game, see what you can (or can't) do and report back your findings.
On August 18, 2017 the Astros fired eight scouts.
November 18, 2019
Jomboy tweeted a picture of Chirinos with a band-aid hanging off his hand and says:
This could literally be anything, but I've been told the buzzers are very real.
Early in the 2019 season, Major League Baseball instructed video monitors working in Minute Maid Park to listen for banging sounds emanating from the Astros' dugout, a person with knowledge of the directive said...
November 19, 2019
Rob Manfred confirmed that MLB's investigation into the Astros has begun, and will be thorough, and:
I have no reason to believe it extends beyond the Astros at this point in time.
November 22, 2019
Tom Verducci reported that MLB has interviewed "15 to 20" Astros personnel - "some more than once." Verducci:
The source said the investigation confirmed the scheme as described by Fiers was used during a period of about three months during the 2017 regular season. The source added that the investigation is also pursuing whether the Astros used modified systems to acquire signs in the 2017 postseason, when scrutiny is heightened and the banging of a trash can would be more manifest.
Jeff Passan reported:
Players have been asked about "buzzing," via the use of Band-Aid-like wearable stickers; furtive earpieces; pitch-picking algorithms; and other potential methods of sign-stealing, the sources said. Accusations about the extent of the alleged wrongdoing have streamed into commissioner Rob Manfred's office from officials of other teams, the sources said. MLB officials are endeavoring to separate fact from fiction, the sources told ESPN, and the league has not concluded whether any such methods actually have been used.
December 10, 2019
A.J. Hinch "spoke" for 19 minutes at the Winter Meetings, but didn't say a whole lot:
If I was in your shoes, I would be on the other side of this table, and I would want to ask questions and find answers and get some more information on the investigation and all the allegations and things like that. I know you're probably expecting this, but I can't comment on it...The sign-stealing part of it is all part of the investigation. So my comments on sign stealing, my comments on investigations, allegations, even the principal people that we've talked about, articles that I know have been written - it all has to wait for another day, and I'm sorry. I want to answer it and not try to redirect you guys all the time, but I simply can't do it.
I can't comment on this investigation, except to say we're fully cooperating. I've been part of the cooperation. I've talked to MLB and we've done everything that we need to do to support it. That's really all I'm going to say at this point until there's some resolution.
December 14, 2019
SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Astros have admitted to stealing signs, but didn't use a camera to do it. One Martino source:
We did ask for a game centerfield feed to decode signs, as many teams do. All we asked for was a live feed.
January 2, 2020
Rob Manfred wrote a letter to Jeff Luhnow indicating that Luhnow knew about everything.
January 7, 2020
Drellich and Rosenthal reported that MLB's investigation had expanded to the Red Sox for inappropriately using the replay room during the 2018 season. Drellich/Rosenthal:
The system the Red Sox employed was not unlike one they had used in previous seasons under a different manager, John Farrell. It was also similar to the one the Yankees and other teams had employed before MLB started its crackdown....As far back as 2015, the Yankees used the video replay room to learn other teams' sign sequences, multiple sources told The Athletic. Other teams likely were doing the same. Sources said the Red Sox began doing it no later than 2016.
January 13, 2020
Rob Manfred announced that the Astros will lose their 1st & 2nd Round picks in 2020 and 2021, a one-year suspension of both Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, and a $5 million fine. Brandon Taubman was also given a ban through the 2020 World Series. Jim Crane announced that he has dismissed both Luhnow and Hinch, Taubman was already fired.
Manfred told Sports Illustrated:
I will tell you this: we found no Band-Aid buzzer issues.
January 14, 2020
The Boston Red Sox "part ways" with Alex Cora.
Logan Morrison ripped Manfred's investigation:
So many teams are doing this. Exactly how many...I'm not sure....I was playing with Seattle in 2014 and every time we went into Houston you would hear this banging. No one put two and two together...I know from first hand accounts that the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, and Red Sox all have used film to pick signs.
January 16, 2020
Carlos Beltran is fired by the Mets. He officially managed zero games. Jomboy retweeted "Carlos Beltran's niece" alleging that the Astros wore buzzers on their shoulders. ESPN's Marly Rivera reported there is no connection between the Beltrans and the Twitter account.
January 17, 2020
Ryan Spaeder went on Washington's 106.7 The Fan and said that using cameras and technology to steal signs "extends far beyond the Astros." Congressman Bobby Rush of Illinois requested a Congressional Oversight Hearing on the Astros' sign-stealing, and MLB's response.
January 18, 2020
The Astros held their annual FanFest at Minute Maid Park, and it was a whole bucket of cringe. Bregman and Altuve largely deferred to Manfred's report and denied wearing buzzers. Ken Giles said he didn't know about a sign-stealing scheme in Houston.
January 24, 2020
White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel officially apologized for his role on the 2017 Astros team.
January 29, 2020
Astros fan Tony Adams launches SignStealingScandal.com - tracking every single pitch (of which he could get audio) preceded by the banging of a trash can.
January 30, 2020
The Astros hired Dusty Baker to be their new manager.
February 3, 2020
The Astros hired James Click as their new general manager.
February 6, 2020
Manfred announced that he wanted to wrap up the investigation into the Red Sox "before camps open," with the same promise of immunity granted to players who spoke about their knowledge of the Astros' sign-stealing efforts.
February 7, 2020
A.J. Hinch sat down with Tom Verducci and took responsibility, saying "I tolerated too much." The Wall Street Journal's Jared Diamond published an article indicating that Jeff Luhnow knew about the entire scandal the whole time, and that the Astros had a predictive algorithm called "Codebreaker" that could interpret signs in real-time.
February 10, 2020
Mike Bolsinger filed a civil suit against the Astros in Los Angeles Superior Court.
February 11, 2020
Rosenthal and Drellich dropped a report that Carlos Beltran was the "Godfather" behind the sign-stealing scandal, with Cora helping.
February 13, 2020
The Astros address the media as a team for the first time. Bregman:
am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me. I have learned from this and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans. I would also like to thank the Astros fans for all of their support. We as a team are totally focused on moving forward to the 2020 season.
Correa says that the Rosenthal/Drellich report of February 11, with Carlos Beltran "steam-rolling" everyone in 2017 was "straight-up bullshit."
February 14, 2020
The Athletic reported that MLB and MLBPA have exchanged proposals regarding electronic sign stealing.
February 16, 2020
MLB announced it would restrict access to video during games.
February 21, 2020
Mark Teixeira told Joel Sherman how the Yankees would use a replay monitor to pick signs:
Teixeira said a few Yankees - namely Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and Chris Young - and a few coaches used the new equipment as the next logical step up from a TV broadcast, which had a single image and, thus, was not always trained on the catcher's signs...If a Yankee thought he deciphered the sequence or indicator, Teixeira said, that player would share it with teammates. If someone reached second base, he was told to see if the opposition kept the same signs. If so, the baserunner could alert the hitter with his own sign.
February 23, 2020
I'm going to miss those guys. They're under scrutiny right now. So many people are coming after them. I anticipate them bunkering down. I think they are going to play really hard, and really well this year. Hopefully if they do that, maybe they can quiet it down a little bit, proving this will be a fresh slate for them. But I'm telling you, we played fair and square last year. I didn't see anything in 2018 either. I really didn't. But no one wants to hear it now.
April 22, 2020
After a lengthy delay, Rob Manfred releases the findings of MLB's investigation into the Boston Red Sox. While MLB determines that the Red Sox were cheating, it was "not as egregious" as the Astros, and Boston is docked a 2020 2nd Round pick. Video coordinator J.T. Watkins is suspended for one year, and Alex Cora is suspended one year...for his role with the Astros.
April 23, 2020
The Boston Globe, on the Red Sox:
Given the belief of many teams that such behavior was common throughout the game in 2018, some around the organization undoubtedly consider the violation akin to keeping pace with traffic at 65mph in a 55mph zone. Nonetheless, if one car gets pulled over for going 65, it's still subject to a ticket.
June 11, 2020
Alex Cora spoke to ESPN's Marly Rivera, saying:
There has been a narrative out there of what happened. Ever since mid-November until the commissioner announced the results of the Red Sox investigation, I have read many things that are true and others that are not. Out of this whole process, if there is one thing that I completely reject and disagree with is people within the Astros organization singling me out, particularly Jeff Luhnow, as if I were the sole mastermind...If there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that it was not a two-man show. We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible.
June 12, 2020
Evan Drellich reports that a judge has ordered a letter sent by Rob Manfred to the Yankees "that addressed the findings of a 2017 investigation into the team" should be unsealed. Drellich:
The Yankees argue the letter would cause "significant reputational injury," Judge Jed Rakoff said in his order, and the letter is not to be unsealed until June 19, so the team has enough time to make an emergency appeal. People with knowledge of the case said it is likely the Yankees will do so.
The letter in question has to do with the lawsuit brought by DraftKings against MLB and the Astros and Red Sox in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal. According to Judge Jed Rakoff's order:
Plantiffs alleged that the 2017 Press Release falsely suggested that the investigation found that the Yankees had only engaged in a minor technical infraction, whereas, according to plaintiffs, the investigation had in fact found that the Yankees engaged in a more serious sign-stealing scheme.
June 17, 2020
Federal Judge Jed Rakoff suspended the unsealing of the letter from MLB to the Yankees. Rakoff:
Although the MLB defendants had earlier argued that the letter was wholly in accord with the Commissioner's public statement, and now argued that release of the letter would harm the Yankees' reputation, these mutually inconsistent arguments, as well as other arguments offered by the MLB defendants in the Yankees, were unpersuasive. Indeed, one might be tempted to conclude there is no justification for keeping the letter sealed.
June 19, 2020
Alex Cora told the Boston Globe:
The reason I talked about the Houston thing the way that I did was because I know too many things about that investigation. For some reason, the information was leaked to the Wall Street Journal. I read that [Beltran] was a bully. The timing is right for me now to talk about that. I think I did a favor to the commissioner, telling him, 'We f***ed up.' I told Rob, 'You held me hostage for seven months. I stayed quiet. Now this is what I'm going to say.' I said what I said about the Houston thing because of what Jeff did. Everything I said, I meant. The whole thing that really bothered me was Jeff just saying 'the bench coach.' He should have just said 'Alex Cora.' That's why I said what I said.
September 21, 2020
Evan Drellich writes in The Athletic that Yankees team president/former deputy mayor of NYC/former Department of Justice attorney Randy Levine is going to argue on the team's behalf. Drellich:
The Yankees are not a party to the lawsuit. Levine and an outside lawyer who was previously working on the case, Jonathan Schiller, said in the Sept. 16 brief that unsealing the letter "would provide a roadmap for anyone to initiate a meritless lawsuit and cause public disclosure of a sealed, highly-confidential internal investigation document and irreparable harm to a non-party, despite the document's irrelevance to the dismissal of the lawsuit."
Yet, there is clearly some concern over the release of the letter, because the Yankees are adamant that the letter's release would be damaging.
October 19, 2020
Jeff Luhnow gives an interview to KPRC, in which he says he was unaware of the sign-stealing scheme as it happened. Luhnow:
The investigation interviewed dozens and dozens of people; players, video staff members, coaches, etc. None of them said that I knew. The absence of any facts regarding me speak very loudly. I mean, they went through years and years of emails and texts, voicemails, messages, and documents, and there's nothing in there that suggests that I knew. And if I were involved, there would be something somewhere. And it just didn't exist.
October 22, 2020
Evan Drellich writes that MLB officials say that Jeff Luhnow is full of crap, citing "direct testimony." Drellich, quoting a person with knowledge of MLB's investigation:
Luhnow received emails that put him on notice of the activity, but claims he only read parts of the emails even though he responded to the emails. One witness clearly stated and provided evidence that Luhnow knew, and others identified facts indicating that Luhnow knew. The best interpretation of the evidence is that Luhnow either knew exactly what the video room was doing, or knew generally what they were doing and willfully chose to keep himself in the dark.
October 30, 2020
On the one year anniversary of the Astros losing every single home game in the World Series, A.J. Hinch finalizes a multi-year deal to become the manager of the Detroit Tigers, who called Hinch "about 30 minutes" after Game 6 of the 2020 World Series ended. The Red Sox reach out to Alex Cora about their managerial vacancy.
November 6, 2020
After serving his one-year suspension, Alex Cora is rehired by the Boston Red Sox.
November 9, 2020
Jeff Luhnow sues the Houston Astros in Harris County District Court for $22m for a breach of contract, alleging that his firing was negotiated between Jim Crane and Rob Manfred.
November 10, 2020
J.T. Watkins, the Red Sox' former video coordinator, is rehired by the team as a pro scout.
This page will be updated as necessary.