Report: “four to five” Cardinals employees being focused on by investigators

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New developments in the Cardinals hacking case overnight.

  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that the FBI has traced the breach of the Houston Astros’ database back to a house in Jupiter, Florida. That’s where the Cardinals hold spring training. Passan notes that multiple people within the Cardinals organization use the house, which could make it tough to determine who, exactly, the culprit was and whether or not they were acting alone.
  • Meanwhile, David Barron and Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle report that “four to five individuals within the Cardinals organization” are a focus of investigators. They also note that, according to multiple sources, the FBI is expected to complete its investigation soon.

As I noted yesterday, the fact that this is an FBI investigation and the fact that this could and likely will invoke the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act makes this serious, with anyone ultimately accused of being involved in the plot being subject to major charges which could entail jail time and massive fines. The feds don’t mess around. At the same time, however, there has yet to be anything to this story suggesting that this was somehow orchestrated by anyone high up in the Cardinals organization, and the fact that the breach came from a house which sounds like it would be used by lower level employees — someone as important as John Mozeliak isn’t sharing living space with a bunch of guys — bolsters the notion that it was not some top-down plot.

Such a situation would not totally absolve higher-ups with the Cardinals if they were aware of the breach after the fact and did not tell Major League Baseball about it, but this is sounding more and more like some sort of weird and petty revenge plot, not a sophisticated and coordinated case of corporate espionage.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.