Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Associated Press

Former Cardinals scouting director sentenced to 46 months in prison for hacking the Astros

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Former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa was sentenced today for hacking into the Astros scouting and analytics database. He’s getting 46 months in prison.

Correa entered a guilty plea to U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes in Houston back in January. The maximum penalty on each of the five counts to which he pleaded was up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution, so he’s getting off relatively lightly. And make no mistake, no matter how many jokes people have made about the hacking scandal, violation of federal laws relating to computer fraud and abuse is some pretty serious legal business.

The hacking incident took place in 2014, but it was unknown that the employee of another team was involved until last year. Correa was relieved of his duties with the Cardinals last July, just prior to his arrest and indictment. When he pleaded guilty in January Correa said that he accessed the Astros database because he suspected the Astros were in possession of Cardinals proprietary information. The Astros denied that. It wouldn’t have mattered even if they did, however, as such facts would not have negated Correa’s own culpability.

Major League Baseball is expected to sanction the Cardinals, possibly by forcing it to forfeit draft picks, at some point in the near future.

Someone is making fake Christian Yelich videos of some kind. For some reason.

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I am 100% sad for Christian Yelich if what he says here is true because someone doing bad stuff to someone else or portraying them falsely or anything like that is bad.

At the same time, it’s probably also something that we could file under “a thing we probably would’ve had no idea about if you hadn’t tweeted about it.” But I guess “get out in front of the controversy” is still rule number 1 of P.R. crisis aversion strategy, so he was probably damned no matter what he did.

In other news, who is making defamatory videos — no matter the genre — of Christian Yelich? What has he ever done to upset anyone? Besides, I dunno, being maybe the most underrated player in the game? Maybe other contenders for the most underrated crown — jealous underrated types! — are behind this. I mean, I’m not saying that Nolan Arenado or Jose Quintana are orchestrating a smear campaign, but perhaps their sympathizers are? You can’t control rabid fans.

Oh well, here’s hoping this gets nipped in the bud and that Yelich’s lawyers get medieval on whoever is messin’ with him.

Twins fire GM Terry Ryan

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Big news from the Twin Cities: the Minnesota Twins just announced that General Manager/Executive Vice President Terry Ryan has been fired. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Assistant GM Rob Antony.

In late May a “high-ranking Twins official” told columnist Mike Berardino that ownership was “100 percent committed” to Ryan keeping his job. The club went 10-17 in June and is 8-5 in July, which is actually an improvement over its April and May performance, but one gets the strong impression that Ryan’s ouster is about more than just the 2016 record.

Rather, it’s about team direction. This was Ryan’s second tour as the GM of the club. His first one was successful, as he helped build a team that won four division titles from 2002 through 2006. Since his return following the 2011 season, however, the Twins have posted 90+ loss seasons three times and are on their way to a fourth 90+ loss season in the last five. Last year’s 83-79 team is looking more and more like a fluke each passing day.

Ryan’s approach worked for several years, but as the 2000s wore on, his affinity for scouting and old school baseball as opposed to the analytical approach most clubs were rapidly adopting became increasingly anachronistic. He has been historically loathe to spend money on a needed top tier free agent in any given year yet has, perversely, spent a LOT of money on several mediocre or outright bad players such as Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey. This worst-of-both-worlds approach has given the Twins neither top talent nor financial flexibility.

Meanwhile, the player development system that served the Twins so well 15 years ago has been far less successful in the past decade. There is a new, promising core consisting of Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Miguel Sano and Max Kepler, but Ryan’s ability to build around it is dubious given his moves over the past several offseasons. Many Twins fans have felt this for years. Now it seems that Twins ownership agrees with them. 

Here is the club’s statement, complete with comment from Ryan himself:

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