The Astros’ sign-stealing program lasted longer than originally thought

The Houston Astros sign-theft scandal is reported to officially end in 2018, but new evidence may prove the scandal lasted into 2019.

PitchCom could be the answer to sign-theft in MLB this year, but the impact of past sign-theft scandals is still rippling through the league. The New York Yankees recently unsealed a letter alleging sign theft, but the investigation turned up a “nothing burger,” according to MLB insider Jeff Passan.

When the Yankees were told to stop what they were doing, they did, and nothing came of the violation save a hefty $100,000 fine. The Houston Astros, on the other hand, took sign-stealing cheating to a whole different level — and higher than many previously believed.

According to author Andy Martino, the Astros shield heist scandal is unlike anything the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox have ever experienced. According to Martino, the Astros were “the only team proven to have stolen signs electronically in real time and passed them to the batsman.”

Martino adds that the Astros sign-theft scandal “spanned the 2019 season.”

The author claims that the Houston Astros’ sign theft continued into 2019

Martino is the author of Cheated: The Inside Story of the Astros Scandal and a Colorful History of Sign Stealing.

The book provides context for the 2017 sign-theft scandal by examining the history of baseball, including the infamous 1919 “Black Sox” scandal that banned eight Chicago White Sox players for their involvement in a gambling program that World Series 1919 failed.

Instead of cheating to lose the World Series, the Astros used sign-stealing methods to secure the win.

Although Martino interviewed countless sources for his book, the Yankees/Mets reporter was called a “hack” by an Astros reporter, who reiterated that Robert Manfred found no evidence of sign theft in 2019.

Depending on the fanbase, some may differ on which narrative they take on, but the reality is that cheating in baseball has been and continues to be a problem.

Sign stealing still appears to be a problem in the PitchCom era, Martino notes in reference to a recent memo sent out by the league urging clubs not to look at PitchCom devices.

Ideally, Martino’s book can teach an ancient lesson in this day and age: scammers always lose in the end. The Astros’ sign-stealing program lasted longer than originally thought

John Verrall

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