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Details of Cardinals’ hacking released

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Chronicle is reporting considerable details from the St. Louis Cardinals’ hacking of the Houston Astros’ computer system. The details are publicly available now because several filings from the criminal case against former Cards’ executive Chris Correa have been unsealed. With specifics now available, it appears possible that MLB may finally take formal action against St. Louis.

Claims that Correa was simply trying to ensure that Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow, who left St. Louis for Houston, hadn’t taken Cards’ proprietary information with him seem to have been fanciful at best. The Chronicle cites the US Attorney’s sentencing memo, which states,

Correa intruded into the Astros' "Ground Control" database 48 times and accessed the accounts of five different Astros employees. For 2 1/2 years, beginning in January 2012, Correa had unfettered access to the e-mail account of Sig Mejdal, the Astros' director of decision sciences and a former Cardinals employee.

. . . .

Correa also attempted to gain access to the accounts of Bo Porter, the Astros' manager in 2013-14, and pitching coach Brent Strom, and he used passwords belonging to Luhnow, Astros analyst Colin Wyers, and three Astros minor league players to gain access to the Astros system . . . .

Among many other things, Correa studied Astros’ reports on a number of players the Astros were considering for the draft, including left-hander Marco Gonzales, whom the Cards drafted with the 19th overall pick in 2013. Interestingly, Correa also studied the Astros’ reports on infielder Erich Weiss, drafted by the Pirates in round 11 the same year. The US Attorney’s memo concludes,

Ultimately, Correa was not intruding to see if the Astros took any information - rather, he was keenly focused on information that coincided with the work he was doing for the Cardinals.