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MLB investigation into Astros cheating confirms they were spying to make sure no one was spying on them

They consider the matter closed.

League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game Three Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

In the middle of NLCS Game 4 on Tuesday night, everyone in baseball shifted focus to a team that wasn’t even playing just then as news broke that an Astros employee had been removed from a spot near the Red Sox dugout during ALCS Game 1. It started off weird and ballooned into something way bigger than a one off incident.

The original report revolved around Astros employee Kyle McLaughlin, who was removed from a spot near Boston’s dugout at Fenway because he had a camera but no media credential. Apparently, he was just “preemptively” keeping a look on Boston to make sure they weren’t spying on the Astros. Sure! I was just breaking into your house to make sure you don’t have any plans to break in to mines.

But then, instead of this just being a one-off incident during the postseason, it then turned into the Astros might have cheated earlier in the postseason. And it subsequently evolved to the Astros might have been doing this all season, with multiple teams (it’s unknown exactly which ones) complaining to the league about it. As well as complaints being filed to other teams.

We all know everyone in the league cheats so the Astros are just the latest to get caught doing something blatantly dumb — a guy with a camera straight up taking pictures near another team’s dugout during the playoffs? C’mon guys.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said of the allegations that the Astros do this type of stuff all the time, and framed it as something far more innocent than it seemed. He said to reporters during media availability Wednesday,

“There’s a lot of technology in ballparks. Video cameras, High-speed cameras. High magnification camera. Monitors showing live feeds. When we go into an opposing ballpark we tend to look around and make sure and make sure we don’t see any suspicious activity.”

He also admitted to having employees checking in on other teams from time to time.

“We’ve, at times, had someone from the travel party go out to center field and look at a particular area that might be suspicious or go check out a certain monitor ... I’m sure other clubs do this as well. We’re just trying to protect ourselves.”

Seems completely kosher, sure. Totally nothing borderline shady happening here.

Apparently MLB powers that be only needed a handful of hours to come to the conclusion that the Astros weren’t actually cheating though. In a statement released Wednesday, the league said,

Before the Postseason began, a number of Clubs called the Commissioner’s Office about sign stealing and the inappropriate use of video equipment. The concerns expressed related to a number of Clubs, not any one specific Club.

In response to these calls, the Commissioner’s Office reinforced the existing rules with all playoff Clubs and undertook proactive measures, including instituting a new prohibition on the use of certain in-stadium cameras, increasing the presence of operations and security personnel from Major League Baseball at all Postseason games and instituting a program of monitoring Club video rooms.

With respect to both incidents regarding a Houston Astros employee, security identified an issue, addressed it and turned the matter over to the Department of Investigations. A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules. All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution.

We consider the matter closed.

So, in other words knock it off guys, figure out better ways to cheat that isn’t so obvious and doesn’t make us look so bad. “Thorough investigation” seems suspect since it took less than 24 hours to come to this conclusion but it’s fair to assume MLB wanted this wrapped up as fast as possible so as not to mar the postseason any further.

Maybe next time the Astros’ photographer will wear a mustache and a fake media credential or something. Get creative, and not dumb enough for the league to have to do an “investigation.”