More developments in the Cardinals-Astros hacking case, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that, contrary to what has heretofore been reported, the illegal accessing of the Astros computer system by Cardinals employees went back as far as 2012 — a good year earlier than first thought — and “was not limited to one or two occasions.”
Given that Jeff Luhnow left the Cardinals for Houston in December 2011and given that many are saying this was an act inspired by animus toward him from his former Cardinals coworkers, such a timeline makes a lot more sense than something which began more than a year after his departure.
Drellich goes on to talk to legal experts who suggest that, based on what is currently known, the Astros could have a civil cause of action against the Cardinals for theft of trade secrets. I am inclined to agree, but as Drellich notes, Major League Baseball’s rules prevent one team from suing another. Which isn’t to say that the Astros may not seek compensation via internal means. Indeed, when the league is eventually forced to come around and impose discipline separate and apart from that which law enforcement ends up doing, it’s possible that the penalties involved could more closely approximate those you’d see in a civil suit between businesses than your usual, run-of-the-mill sports infraction.