D.J. Short

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Could Astros’ database have been hacked with “Eckstein” password?


This almost sounds too good to be true, but apparently it’s for real.

According to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, when former Cardinals front office employee Chris Correa pleaded guilty to five counts of hacking the Astros’ “Ground Control” database earlier this month, it was strongly suggested by U.S. Attorney Michael Chu that a password based off David Eckstein’s name was responsible for providing access. Seriously.

Take a look for yourself with the transcript below, which includes some entertaining banter from U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes:

THE COURT:   Has the Astros fellow changed his
password, because I want to know what you thought the obscure
password was.
MR. CHU:   He has changed it since then, Your Honor.
THE COURT:   Well, what was it, because you say it
was obscure, similar.
MR. CHU:   It was based on the name of a player who
was scrawny and who would not have been thought of to succeed
in the major leagues, but through effort and determination he
succeeded anyway.   So this user of the password just liked
that name, so he just kept on using that name over the years.
THE COURT:   That’s admirable.
MR. ADLER:   Kind of like Magidson123.
THE COURT:   Or Magidson1/2,1/4,1/3.
I like the scrawny people who succeed through
their hard work.
MR. CHU:   Thank you, Your Honor.

Eckstein played three seasons with the Cardinals from 2005-2007, so there’s obviously some overlap with executives who eventually made their way over to the Astros. This includes Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. Eckstein, of course, enjoyed a lengthy career in the majors despite checking in at just 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds. Who else could it be, really? This situation has been bizarre enough already, but an “Eckstein-based” password adds another interesting wrinkle to things.

You can read the full transcript here.

(Thanks to Emma Span for the heads up on the Eckstein angle)

Report: Yoenis Cespedes will be eligible for a qualifying offer next winter

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

As part of his reported three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets, Yoenis Cespedes will have the ability to opt out of the contract after the first year. He will receive a $27.5 million salary for 2016 if he decides to opt out. Due to his major league service time, there was some question about whether he’d be eligible for a qualifying offer from the Mets in the event of an opt-out. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal provided some clarity on the matter this afternoon:

In other words, this would be like any other normal free agent situation. At least assuming they remain with the same team for the entire season.

Barring an injury or a huge decline from his 2015 numbers, Cespedes will almost certainly exercise his opt-out and test the free agent market. The win-now Mets are fully-aware of this, but the potential draft pick compensation is yet another reason to like this deal from their perspective.

Mike Trout called in to the Weather Channel to give update on winter storm

AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

In addition to being the best player in the game today, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is really into the weather. Actually, that might be an understatement. You probably know this already if you follow his Twitter account. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan did a great piece on his fascination with meteorology last year, during which Trout floated the possibility of joining the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore if there was a big snowstorm in his hometown of Millville, New Jersey this winter. Well, he finally got his chance this morning with Winter Storm Jonas wreaking havoc on the East Coast.

You can watch the video over at Deadspin, but here’s part of Trout’s on-scene report:

“Yeah, it’s been crazy, for sure. Obviously up all night, up every hour, checking the measurements. We probably got about a foot and it’s coming down steady right now. The wind was the worst part about it. It’s blowing hard. There’s probably, by my parents’ house, four to five, six-foot drifts. The roads are terrible. It’s just awesome. I love it.”

Trout also tweeted a video to Cantore last night as he was driving through the snow.

Not bad for a first report from the “Millville Meteorologist.” Trout is still just 24 years old and doing quite well for himself on the baseball side of things, but a future career awaits.