PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The St. Louis Cardinals, highly regarded as one of the top franchises in all of professional sports, are under investigation.
According to the New York Times, the Cards are being investigated by the F.B.I. for hacking into internal networks of the Houston Astros to try to steal information. It is the first known case of corporate espionage in professional sports, where a team has hacked the network of another team.
“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,” a spokeman for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement issued Tuesday. “Once the investigative process has been completed by federal law enforcement officials, we will evaluate the next steps and will make decisions promptly.”
Jeff Luhnow, now the Astros’ general manager, was a crucial front-office executive of the Cardinals from 2003 to 2011. Luhnow was know for his “Moneyball” philosophy, credited for developing one of baseball’s top minor league systems in St. Louis.
Luhnow was hired by the Astros in December of 2011 and began unconventionally and successfully revamping Houston’s baseball team. Investigators believe Cardinals officials studied a list of passwords used by Luhnow while with the Cardinals, using those passwords to hack the Astros’ system.
Since 2000, the Cards have reached the National League Championship Series nine times. The Cardinals won the World Series most recently in 2011 and 2006, two of their nine championships.