So, the Astros' Brass Did Know

Published on 11-Feb-2020 by Alan Adamsson

MLB    MLB Daily Update

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So, the Astros' Brass Did Know

Note to conspiracy theorists:

Stop it. Please. It's a fool's errand.

If any of them exist anymore, sooner or later, they collapse under the weight of social media and their own human stupidity.

Just ask the Houston Astros.


Well, using electronics and trash cans to win a World Series musta been the winning entry in 2017.

It's the unraveled conspiracy that keeps on giving, too, because how do you keep the Codebreaker operation quiet forever:

  • Pull up an in-game live feed,
  • Log the catchers' signs and the type of pitch that was thrown into an Excel spreadsheet,
  • Apply an algorithm to decipher what each sign meant, and
  • Relay that information to a baserunner,
  • Who would relay it to the hitter.


Inquiring minds have reached the stage now that they've fingered the ultimate ringleaders as Astros' front office dudes.

The Wall Street Journal has dug up a couple a 2017 email to GM Jeff Luhnow from Houston's director of advance information -- now, there's a fitting title -- that actually mentioned the system and sign-stealing department:

[O]ur dark arts, sign-stealing department has been less productive in the second half as the league has become aware of our reputation and now most clubs change their signs a dozen times per game.

Another email uncovered a 'Stros special assistant suggesting the use of cameras in the 2017 post-season:

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.


What's more, an intern gave Luhnow a PowerPoint presentation in 2016 about Codebreaker and assumed the GM knew it'd be used in games because that's where the value would be.

For the record, all three of those dudes are still employed by the Astros.

How in the name of Eric Snowden did this crowed ever think they could keep everything quiet?

There's surely more to come.