By Steve Ginsburg in Washington (Reuters), June 17,2015 – The owner of the St. Louis Cardinals said on Wednesday he was committed to finding out if anyone in his organization hacked into the Houston Astros’ computers to steal team secrets and that any offenders “will be held accountable.”
Federal authorities are investigating the Cardinals to determine who, if anyone connected with the baseball team, was involved in the data breach concerning Astros’ trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports.
“These are serious allegations that don’t reflect who we are as an organization,” William DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. “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.”
There is evidence that officials of the Cardinals, who won the 2006 and 2011 World Series and are one of the sport’s most respected franchises, broke into the Astros’ network of special databases, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday.
Cardinals personnel might have been seeking to undermine Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow, who left St. Louis to work for the Astros after the 2011 season, the Times said. DeWitt said his team had been helping the FBI and federal prosecutors in their investigation over the last few months.
“The alleged conduct has no place in our game,” said Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak. “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.”
The Astros, who are in first place in the American League West after six straight losing seasons, said it was “actively cooperating” with the investigation. Houston and St. Louis were National League division rivals from 1994 to 2012 before the Astros shifted to the American League.
The Cardinals, whose 4321 record is the best in baseball this season, have won the World Series 11 times, second only to the New York Yankees.
(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)