The Full Count

On Nov. 12, 2019, the baseball world was still suffering from its World Series hangover when current Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers, who was with the Houston Astros during their 2017 championship run, spoke up about his former ballclub by claiming that the club used cameras in their home Minute Maid Park in 2017 to steal signs. Fiers said in an interview to The Athletic, “That’s not playing the game the right way. They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.” Fiers was one of four Astros sources to confirm these accusations but the only two to go on the record. Fiers said that he let the teams that he played for know what he saw when they played in Houston. 

Upon further investigation by the MLB there have been reports that the Astros set up a camera in center field zoomed in so that someone watching could see what signs were relayed to the pitcher. A TV in the hallway leading to the dugout had the feed, and when they thought they had figured out the opposing signals a message would be relayed to the batter via a bang from the dugout to let them know what pitch was coming next. 

At this point no decision has been made in regards to these accusations and their is an ongoing investigation through Major League Baseball. The MLB has already begun to investigate current Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch, former Houston Astros bench coach and current Boston Red Sox manager Alex Corra, and former Houston Astros Outfielder and newly hired New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran who are all said to have played key roles in helping deliver signals to the batter. 

For the casual fan who doesn’t know, sign stealing has always been a part of baseball. However, it had never been done electronically to directly relay exactly what pitch was coming to the batter either. The entire baseball world is eager to see how the MLB decides to handle this situation. 

As one can imagine, once the news broke via The Athletic, baseball twitter was in an uproar giving their opinions on what should be the final decision should be on the situation. It was very popular amongst fans to call for the ban of Astros Manager AJ Hinch from Major League Baseball. Hinch has yet to comment on the issue, as the MLB has pushed the Astros to not comment on anything until the investigation has wrapped up. The Boston Globe reached out to Corra in regards to the situation, but he declined to comment. Chaim Bloom, who was recently hired by the Boston Red Sox as chief baseball officer; also declined comment at the GM meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Beltran has yet to comment on the accusations. Brodie Van Wagenen also referred to the MLB by saying, “Anything that happened, happened with another organization… with Houston. I have no idea if anything did or did not occur, but at this point I don’t see any reason this is a Mets situation.” 

Austin Edmonds