Astros sign-stealing scheme went on for longer than originally thought

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The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal is reported as officially ending in 2018, but new insight may prove the scandal lasted until 2019. 

PitchCom might be the answer to sign-stealing in the MLB this year, but the ramifications of past sign-stealing scandals are still rippling through the league. The New York Yankees recently had a letter unsealed concerning a sign-stealing investigation, but the investigation found a “nothing-burger”, according to MLB insider Jeff Passan.

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

According to author Andy Martino, the Astros sign-stealing scandal differs from anything the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox ever experienced. The Astros, according to Martino, were “the only team proven to have stolen signs electronically in real time and passed them to the batter.”

Martino adds that the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal “extended through the 2019 season.”

Author claims that Houston Astros sign-stealing lasted through 2019

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

The book gives context to the 2017 sign-stealing scandal by examining baseball’s history, including the infamous 1919 “Black Sox” scandal that banned eight Chicago white Sox players for their involvement in a gambling scheme that threw the 1919 World Series.

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

Though Martino interviewed a myriad of sources for his book, the Yankees/Mets reporter was called a “hack” by an Astros reporter who reiterated that Robert Manfred found no proof of sign-stealing in 2019.

Depending on fandom, some may differ in which narrative they embrace, but the reality is that cheating has been and continues to be an issue in baseball.

Sign-stealing is apparently still an issue in the PitchCom era, which Martino notes in reference to a recent memo sent out through the league telling clubs not to glance at PitchCom devices.

Ideally, Martino’s book can teach an old lesson in the current era: eventually, cheaters always end up losing.

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