Houston Astros personnel have admitted to Major League Baseball that the club used a center-field video camera to rely pitching signs in real time, according to a report published by Andy Martino of SNY. The witnesses from the Astros organization were interviewed by the league as part of an investigation into the Houston Astros' alleged electronic sign-stealing scheme.
According to SNY, the interviewees told the league that the camera used was an existing camera, approved by MLB. They told investigations that the camera was used since the feed was aired on a monitor behind the Astros' dugout. They denied that any additional cameras were installed at Minute Maid Park solely for the purpose of stealing signs. The Astros witnesses thought that the actions were "in line with industry standards." Here's more from SNY's report:
The overall picture painted by these sources is one that shows the Astros breaking rules, but not going so far as to install a camera specifically for sign stealing.
"We did ask for a game centerfield feed to decode signs, as many teams do," one witness told MLB, according to sources. "All we asked for was a live feed."
Baseball considers that illegal, and will punish accordingly. Harsh discipline for Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch remain in play.
After the allegations of sign-stealing were made public last month, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced an investigation into the Astros. As part of the investigation, the league has gathered 76,000 emails and spoken with 60 witnesses, and it has expanded to include the 2019 and 2018 seasons. The investigation is expected to continue into the new year.
The first accusations date to the 2017 season, when the club allegedly used a center-field camera to pick up the opposing team's catcher's signs, and relay the signs to Astros batters. Another relay method supposedly involved banging a trash can in the dugout.