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Major League Baseball levies punishment against the Houston Astros - A Hunt and Peck

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World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three

It is the news taking baseball by storm this week: the Houston Astros have been punished by Major League baseball for their illegal sign-stealing activities. Yes, this is a St. Louis Cardinals blog, but the Cardinals and Astros go way back. Many of the folks involved should be familiar to Cardinals fans. Let’s review.

Back in 2017 the Astros used their replay room to decode catchers’ signs during games and give these signs to the dugout and then bench coach, current Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who shared the signs with the players. After 2017 and the Red Sox cheating scandal, MLB explicitly warned teams against using replay to steal signs. During 2018 the players where able to get the signs directly after the replay room was moved closer to the dugout and used that access to directly give the signs by banging on trashcans. A different number of bangs represented a different type of pitch. What they were doing was pretty obvious and eventually they were caught.

Major League Baseball announced an investigation resulting in punishments levied against general ganager Jeff Lunhow, manager A.J. Hinch resulting in their dismissal from the Astros. The Red Sox have also parted ways with former Astros bench coach Alex Cora.

While no players involved in the scandal were said to be punished, it appears Carlos Beltrán, after taking a job with the Mets earlier this offseason, has decided to step down.

The whole is thing is a complete mess impacting not just the Astros, but several other teams across baseball, making it one of the biggest scandals to hit baseball in recent memory.

And it might not be over yet.

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