The Houston Astros got busted in Boston doing some seriously sketchy shit. According to a report by Danny Picard of the the Boston Metro Times, Red Sox security removed a man from the media area next to the Boston dugout at Fenway in the third inning of game one. The man, now identified as Kyle McLaughlin, did not have any media credentials, but did use a small camera and his cell phone.
The Cleveland Indians tipped off the Red Sox about the espionage after he was caught aiming a cell phone into the Indians’ dugout during the ALDS at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Cleveland also had McLaughlin removed by security. Another Astros official tried to intervene to allow McLaughlin to stay, but was denied by security. Looks like the Stros are pretty desperate in keeping their infiltrator in position.
McLaughlin is not listed as an official employee of the Houston Astros, but his Instagram account, which has since been deleted, showed a number of pictures of him affiliated with the Astros. He even removed a reference to the Houston Astros in his Instragram bio, and the account had a picture of him with Astros owner Jim Crane, as well as holding an Astros ID badge and standing next to a private jet with the Astros logo.
He’s not even sly about it, as he was busted taking a photo of the dugout in Cleveland, seen here.
It’s not the first time the Astros have been suspected of being cheaters. The Oakland A’s noticed odd clapping in the Astros’ dugout, which they believe was a tip off to stolen signs. The Dodgers also claimed the Astros stole signs during Houston’s World Series victory last season. There have also been reports of the Astros hitting a garbage can in the dugout, which a few players have opined is another method of relaying stolen information to hitters and pitchers.
Indians’ pitcher Trevor Bauer made waves when he pointed out how the spin rate of Astros pitchers increase significantly compared to their spin rates on prior teams. Bauer intimated a foreign substance was being utilized by not just the Astros staff, but that it was rampant in the MLB. He simply used Houston as his best evidence for the spin rate increase. Of course, the Astros took umbrage to this, but now we have hard evidence they’re a bunch of cheaters.
Stealing signs isn’t cheating, because if you’re dumb enough to let the other team figure out your signs, that’s on you. But using electronic equipment is not allowed, and neither is having an employee infiltrate a media area to use that equipment right next to your opponent’s dugout. If you’re not cheating you’re not trying, and in baseball cheating is a silent part of the game. It always has been, and it always will be.
The Indians and Red Sox both refused to comment on the story, saying it’s a matter for MLB to handle. It’ll probably be handled quietly, with the Astros incurring a fine. But no longer can Houston take the high road, as they’ve been stone cold busted. Sure, everyone is trying to cheat. But the Astros got caught.