Houston Astros Scandal just got a little more interesting

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 30: Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, right, and Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow chat during battting practice at Minute Maid Park on June 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 30: Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, right, and Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow chat during battting practice at Minute Maid Park on June 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Before, all we had were allegations and a few videos pop up regarding the Houston Astros misbehavior, now there’s an email…

Last week’s jarring report that sent shockwaves throughout the sport has now increased in legitimacy as an email has been discovered from Houston Astros special assistant Kevin Goldstein.

First released by The Athletic and confirmed by ESPN, Goldstein — a special assistant to GM Jeff Lunhow — sent out an email, leading up to the 2017 postseason, to Astros’ scouts with instructions on picking up opponent’s signs with the use of “binoculars or cameras”.

The exact wording in the August 2017 email went as follows:

"“One thing in specific we are looking for is picking up signs coming out of the dugout. “What we are looking for is how much we can see, how we would log things, if we need cameras/binoculars, etc. So go to game, see what you can (or can’t) do and report back your findings.”"

As expected, not all Astros’ scouts were willing to engage in such activities. A report from CBS Sports states that “several scouts weren’t on board”:

"“Several scouts told Rosenthal and Drellich they were appalled at the suggestion they use cameras to pick up the other team’s signs. It is common for scouts to try to decode the opposing team’s signs, but they try to do it with their eyes alone. Using cameras and other technology to steal signs is considered over the line.”"

This email is just another damning piece of evidence that the Astros organization participated in intentional and sophisticated sign-stealing, as well as proof that these actions weren’t just produced at the ground level.

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What happens now?

The proof and allegations that have been enacted towards the Astros have varied in level of displeasure across the industry. To some, the Astros’ actions deserve a swift and hefty punishment, while others are perhaps less enraged.

It would be reasonable to lean more towards the outraged crowd, especially when considering one of MLB’s most influential figures, Joe Torre, uses words like “disturbing” to describe the Astros antics.

As MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer — his duties include overseeing the league’s operations, discipline and umpiring — Torre’s opinions aren’t those of just an average person within the industry. You can be assured his concerns pertaining to this scandal will matter.

However, the only judgment that truly matters is that of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who will be tasked with deciding the exact ramifications headed the Astros way.

Stealing signs in more of a manual way, such as players attempting to decode a catcher or third base coach during a game, has been an active practice since the beginning of the sport. Using technology and even deploying such a systematic approach towards sign-stealing is obviously a practice regarded as a much different level of mischief.

It will be interesting to see which route Manfred takes. Does he want to make an example of the Astros? Or does he simply throttle back on his punishment due to the fact that such findings have been relegated to the 2017 season?

If you remember, the Boston Red Sox were found to have been using Apple watches during the 2017 season as a sign-stealing mechanism. Even more, this is certainly not the first time the Astros have been accused of cheating.

Will the consistent allegations pointed toward the Astros mean anything? We’ll have to wait and find out.

As reported by many, the Commissioner and his staff are currently in the process of interviewing members of the ’17 Houston Astros team, including Red Sox manager Alex Cora and New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran.

Next. Hinch, Luhnow on hot seat. dark

We’ll keep you updated here at Call to the Pen on any findings or reactions from this scandal. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section!