The Cardinals’ firing of scouting director Chris Correa has left more questions than answers regarding the team’s reported theft of information from the Houston Astros’ database.
The Cardinals organization hasn’t elaborated on the situation, but a Post Dispatch report indicates a source with knowledge of the situation said that Correa has admitted hacking into Houston’s database “only to determine whether the Astros had stolen proprietary data.”
Correa’s firing surprised many following the story.
He’s not exactly the “low-level employee” that some figured had broken into Houston’s database when the New York Times published the initial report.
Correa just finished running his first MLB draft for the Cards, so we’re no longer talking about a rogue group of IT guys that were on some sort of weird revenge mission to embarrass Jeff Luhnow.
Even though we now have the hacker’s identity, questions remain about the investigation.
For starters, Correa claims that he didn’t leak the information that Deadspin posted in June of last year. So, who did?
If Correa is telling the truth, that coincides with the Times report that stated there were multiple people that conducted breaches of Houston’s “Ground Control.” If Correa was simply trying to find out if Luhnow had stolen proprietary data from the Cards, then what were the other hackers doing with the information?
We also don’t know if Correa is telling the truth, which is disturbing if you’re a Cardinals fan.
The best-case scenario is that Correa was “just” trying to see if the Astros had stolen data. That’s better than if he actually used the data to form opinions on players to help improve his standing in the organization. That seems like a reach, though, based on what Luhnow and others have said about how useless and outdated the information would have been, but who knows? Information has different value to different people.
For those outside of St. Louis and those who despise the Cardinals, the damage is already done.
If the initial report was all detractors needed to throw the Cardinal organization into the incinerator, then the Correa firing was like using dynamite to the incinerator itself. The people that hate the Cards didn’t need the Correa news to supplement the narrative that the organization isn’t as holy as its perception.
But for those without an agenda that are still interested in gaining proper perspective, there’s more to be learned. We don’t know who else was involved, why they felt the need to breach the Astros’ database, and whether or not Correa is being truthful now that he’s faced with committing a federal crime.
Most importantly, we still don’t know if the Cardinals gained some sort of competitive advantage.
Regardless, Correa needed to be fired. His going rogue instead of taking the proper steps is inexcusable. This is one example of why a chain of command exists. If he thought Luhnow stole proprietary information, he should have made the front office aware of it and left it up to them to pursue the situation legally. Correa took that option away from the Cardinals.
If Correa is telling the truth and the Astros did commit wrongdoing, he could have avoided this entire situation.
You don’t go all “Hardy Boys” thinking you’re going to become a hero when you unveil the true criminal. Even if your detective work leads to a discovery, you still broke the law. You still put an organization in the crosshairs.
What was Correa’s end game?
Yet another question in this utterly bizarre story.
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