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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Report: Email shows Astros discussed having scouts illegally use cameras to steal signs

As if there weren’t already enough evidence implicating the Houston Astros in the sign-stealing scandal, now there may be a smoking gun in the form of written proof.

The Athletic’s Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal, who first reported during the week about the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing ways in 2017, published a new report on Saturday that says an Astros front-office executive asked for the help of scouts via email in picking up opponents’ signs.

Scouting a team from the stands and using your eyes or even binoculars in an effort to figure out opponents’ signs is legal. However, the use of cameras to steal signs would be illegal.

Here is what the email said, according to The Athletic.

“One thing in specific we are looking for is picking up signs coming out of the dugout,” the email’s sender wrote in a message from August of 2017. “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.”

The email suggests using cameras for this practice, which is illegal.

A rule prohibits electronic equipment from being used “for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Club an advantage.” Signs stolen from the stands in a game are also not allowed to be communicated during the same game.

The report says some scouts were appalled at the front office’s suggestion to use cameras for sign stealing and voiced this complaint to them, as nobody wanted to be caught and have their or the team’s reputations damaged.

The evidence against the Astros has been mounting. There is plenty of video evidence of their cheating. A report even shared how the team supposedly stole and communicated signs in road games.

The Astros and MLB are investigating the matter. It seems to be a matter now not if MLB disciplines the Astros, but how harshly.

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