Cardinals’ apparent hacking of Astros scouting raise questions about all major sports teams


The St. Louis Cardinals, one of Major League Baseball’s most successful teams, apparently had front-office personnel hacking the scouting reports of the Houston Astros, which are not.

This raises many questions. Like, did the Cardinals’ hackers think the Astros’ scouting on the LHP from Fresno was that different from their own? And, did they really think they would get away with it? At what cost? And what did they have to gain? Stupid isn’t a crime, but maybe it should be.

The larger question, however, emerges from scandals like the Black Sox, Spygate, Deflategate, and the Cleveland Browns’ GM texting coaches on the sidelines, and on and on down the list of sports cheaters. Do all or most team sport players, coaches and front office people cross the competitive line into cheating?

And, if they do, is it a crisis? Do we care? Does it even matter?

Do we cheat as individuals? Running a red light? Pumping up the expense report? Shaving a few hours off the work day after a meeting ends early?

The Cardinals’ action seems directed at a former front-office official who is now the Astros’ GM. Maybe it was more personal than institutional or competitive. But surely it was dumb.

The Cards’ front-office types might know Billyball or Moneyball, but they obviously are Single A hackers.

They’ll get caught, fired, maybe prosecuted and we’ll all wonder what, if anything, they really gained that might add to the Cards’ won-loss record.

The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs and Crisis and Reputation Management at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with eight offices in the East. Learn more about EMA at mowerpr.com/crisisready. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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