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St. Louis Cardinals F.B.I. Investigation: What do we know about the leak of Astros information?

A not-so-quick rehash.

Mo: Innocent bystander or evil, criminal mastermind?
Mo: Innocent bystander or evil, criminal mastermind?
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As many of you know, the Cardinals found themselves involved in a little whoopsie yesterday. If you are living under a rock and are unaware, get caught up by reading Ben's post on it here. The thesis:

The F.B.I. is investigating members of the St. Louis front office for committing a federal crime by hacking the Astros' proprietary network that contains information regarding players within the Houston system. Like the Patriots before them, the Cardinals have turned full heel. Unlike New England, however, it appears that members of the Cardinals front office crossed the line into criminality.

Later on in the evening, Ben investigated why the organization's employees would hack the Astros in the first place. The conclusion?

But based on what Schmidt reported in the Times on Tuesday, there is not much reason to believe that the Cardinals perpetrated this online theft with the intent of gaining a competitive edge. Rather, it appears to be the work of rogue personnel acting out of personal spite for Luhnow.

The original New York Times article is definitely worth a read as well as it provides more detail from F.B.I. reports and interviews done by a reputable journalist, Michael Schmidt.

But how did it get to this point? Here is quick timeline of the events so far.

2003: Jeff Luhnow is hired by the St. Louis Cardinals as Vice President of Baseball Development

2005: Luhnow is promoted to Vice President of Player Procurement

2006: Luhnow is promoted to Vice President of Scouting and Player Development

2005 - 2010: The Cardinals minor-league system, overseen by Luhnow, flourishes with the Cardinals winning five minor-league championships, owning the best record in that time, and promoting 24 major leaguers

October 4, 2007: The St. Louis Cardinals and General Manager Walt Jocketty part ways:

Jocketty oversaw the team make seven postseason appearances, one of the best stretches in franchise history. But he's been unhappy since Jeff Luhnow was promoted to vice president of amateur scouting and player development late last season, placing him in charge of the draft and supervision of the farm system. Luhnow is not a candidate to replace Jocketty because he already has enough responsibility, DeWitt said.

October 7, 2007: Reports and articles surface about the schism between "numbers guys" and "old-school baseball guys"

On the other hand, a big part of Jocketty's undoing with DeWitt was the failure of the Cardinals' farm system to develop any pitchers in a decade and only two frontline players, catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder Chris Duncan, in recent years.

October 31, 2007: John Mozeliak is named the new General Manager of the Cardinals

Mo, considered a go-between, able to get along with all parties under Jocketty, addressed that right up front. "My relationship with Jeff is outstanding... The analytical department reports directly to the general manager."

October 28, 2011: The Cardinals win the World Series

December 8, 2011: Luhnow is hired by the Astros as the team's General Manager

2012: The Astros construct an online database that gives the Astros front office instant access to player statistics, video, scouting reports and records of communications called "Ground Control"

2013: The Astros move to the American League

June 30, 2014: Ten months of internal trade talks is posted online on Anonbin, a site that allows people to share information anonymously 
Some highlights of the leaked information include:

The Astros shop Bud Norris at the Trade Deadline...

6/17/2013: [Giants assistant GM] Bobby Evans called [Houston AGM David Stearns] to check in on Norris. DS told BE that it's probably a little early for us to consider dealign Norris but are always willing to listen. DS said that when we do trade Norris we will likely be looking for quality over quantity.

6/30/2013: PIT reached out to [Luhnow] and expressed interest in Norris.

7/22/2013: [Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski] and [Luhnow] texted. JL said taht we would do Norris = Veras for Castellanos and that we would consider Norris for Jake Thompson. DD said that SP was not a priority for them now but that they would consider those names and get back to us.

7/26/2013: [Luhnow] talked to [Cardinals GM John Mozeliak] about STL trade deadline needs. Mo said he might have interest in Bedard but hadn't decided yet. Also said he might have interest in Norris but not at an elite prospect level (he included Wong, Martinez, Wacha, Taveras as elite guys)" [Mo = STL GM John Mozeliak]

There are more examples of the leaks in the Deadspin article linked above. This is the only example from the article that expressly mentions the Cardinals. The original leaks from Anonbin cannot be accessed - the site has either been removed or the leaks have been taken down.

June 30, 2014: The Astros issue the following statement:

"Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros' servers and in Astros' applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI. Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the[sic] determine the party, or parties, responsible. This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.

"It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information. While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated."

June 30, 2014: Jeff Luhnow does an interview

"Yes. It was definitely an outside entity that decided to come in illegally and try and take information."


"Not necessarily. I think we were one of the more active teams in the trade market the last couple years, so — and I don't know. Maybe that had something to do with it, I really don't have an idea."



"I don't know what the criminal's motive was."

February 2015 (UPDATE): The FBI confiscates computers after a visit to Busch Stadium as a part of the investigation, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch

June 16, 2015: The Cardinals are said to be behind the hacks in an article at the New York Times.

June 16, 2015: The Cardinals issue a statement:

"The St. Louis Cardinals are aware of the investigation into the security breach of the Houston Astros' database. The team has fully cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so. Given that this is an ongoing federal investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further."

June 16, 2015: Major League Baseball issues a statement:

"Major League Baseball has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros' baseball operations database. Once the investigative process has been completed by federal law enforcement officials, we will evaluate the next steps and will make decisions promptly."

June 16, 2015: Commissioner Manfred issues a statement:

"I think until we know, this is different from when we might investigate, for example, a drug case where we're one of the investigators," Manfred said during a news conference at Fenway Park. "I have access to all the facts real time in a situation like that. That's just not the case here, and because I don't know exactly what the facts are and I don't think the person who wrote the Times story knows exactly what the facts are, that it really doesn't make sense for me to speculate as to how serious a problem I have.


"Soon enough, I think that we will have full information as to what went on. I think you can rest assured that we will act appropriately at that point in time. I think people should also not lose sight of the fact that in addition to what happened, there's the question of who did it, who knew about it, who was the organization responsible, the individual responsible -- there's a whole set of issues that are going to be needed to be sorted through."

June 16, 2015: Mike Matheny discusses the hacking in a pre-game interview:

"Something is going on," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters before Tuesday's game. "We don't know how to react at all until we have more information, so we don't."

June 16, 2015, 10:00pm: Suspects are narrowed down to a handful of mid to lower level employees and the crime scene is identified as Jupiter, Florida

In summary, the scene of the crime was a house in Jupiter. The current suspects are mid-to-low-level Cardinals employees. That could change as the investigation continues. But for now, it appears that no Cardinals executives are the target of the F.B.I. inquiry, which has narrowed in on a handful of suspects.


June 17, 2015: Bill Dewitt and John Mozeliak issue statements on how the organization plans on responding to the allegations and announce lawyer Jim Martin of the law firm Dowd Bennett was hired in the months preceding the investigation going public

"These are serious allegations that don't reflect who we are as an organization. We are committed to getting to the bottom of this matter as soon as possible, and if anyone within our organization is determined to be involved in anything inappropriate, they will be held accountable." - Bill DeWitt

"The alleged conduct has no place in our game. We hold ourselves to the highest standards in every facet of our organization. It has been that way forever and is certainly true today. We are committed to finding out what happened. To the extent we can substantiate that these allegations have merit, we will take appropriate action against anyone involved." - John Mozeliak


June 18, 2015: Jeff Luhnow denies using old passwords. He also states his innocence in regard to the reported belief that he stole intellectual property from the Cardinals

As of now, this is all the information available. This article will be updated to reflect newly discovered information.