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FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros databases

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This is almost too weird -- and good -- to be true:

Investigators have uncovered evidence that Cardinals officials broke into a network of the Houston Astros that housed special databases the team had built, according to law enforcement officials. Internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports were compromised, the officials said.

The officials did not say which employees were the focus of the investigation or whether the team’s highest-ranking officials were aware of the hacking or authorized it. The investigation is being led by the F.B.I.’s Houston field office and has progressed to the point that subpoenas have been served on the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for electronic correspondence.

The FBI apparently believes the hacking took place because the Cardinals' front office wanted to do something nasty to former Cardinals executive and current Astros GM Jeff Luhnow. The Cardinals apparently looked into what passwords Luhnow and other former Cardinals front-office employees used in St. Louis, then used those passwords to hack into the Astros' databases. Someone then made some of the information in those databases available to the public in last year -- you might remember that some of the Astros' notes on their trade talks with the Pirates were revealed then.

It's amazing that the Cardinals are allegedly behind all that, and it's surely going to bring their holier-than-thou fan base down a peg. It doesn't sound like it was done for strategic reasons, but purely to make Luhnow look bad, which is a shame -- I'd love to have a reason to dismiss the Cardinals' success over the past decade or so, but this news doesn't provide one. Regardless, I'm sure someone in the Pirates' front office will send out a memo today telling everyone to change their passwords.