Following Cardinals hacking allegations, public asks: why the As -

Following Cardinals hacking allegations, public asks: why the Astros?

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Jason Stallman, sports editor of the New York Times, speaks about the Cardinals hacking allegations. Jason Stallman, sports editor of the New York Times, speaks about the Cardinals hacking allegations.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( - After a New York Times article published on Tuesday morning revealed FBI allegations that officials in the St. Louis Cardinals front office hacked into the Houston Astros' computer systems, the question permeating the discussion was, why the Astros?

With the current season's best record in baseball at 42-21 and having reach postseason play in seven of the past ten seasons, the Astros have not played in the play-offs since 2005.

So fans and critics alike asked, why would the successful Cardinals organization hack into the system of the less-consistent Astros?

News 4's Doug Vaughn spoke with Jason Stallman, sports editor of the New York Times, to dissect the situation.

"From what we understand, and a lot of our knowledge comes from law enforcement officials, it sounds like there were some folks in the Cardinals front office who had a bit of distaste for Mr. Jeff Luhnow," said Stallman.

Luhnow, who began working as an executive within the Cardinals organization in 2003, moved to the Astros as General Manager in 2011.

"The Astros, while they were really awful over the past few years, they've drastically turned around their organization under Jeff Luhnow," said Stallman.

Another question which could determine the extent to which individuals or the organization are punished is, who is responsible?

"[Luhnow] might have been a divisive figure when he was with the Cardinals. And then when he left to go to the Astros, some folks who were left behind in the Cardinals front office had a little bit of vengeance for him," Stallman said.

Pending the completion of a federal investigation, it is still unknown if the alleged hacking was just an act of low-level members of the front office staff, or if higher-ranking officials were aware of, or even authorized, the hacking.

"We don't know enough about the investigation at this point, the scope of it, or what evidence, specifically, U.S. prosecutors have seen to determine who was involved, whether it was just one or two people, or if it was more pervasive throughout the front office," said Stallman.

If higher-level officials were involved in the reported hacking, the organization could face federal charges and repercussions from Major League Baseball. For the time being, Stallman believes MLB will wait until the investigation is completed before deciding how to respond to the situation.

"I think we'll know a lot more once the prosecutors announce what, if any, charges they are going to bring and who the individuals are they are focused on," Stallman said, who expects the investigation to take weeks or months, not just days.

The question of the impact the hacking accusations could have on the Cardinals organization, however, will not be resolved until the federal investigation is complete.

"If it's just one or two very low-level employees of the front office," said Stallman, "And the crimes they're charged with aren't especially severe, that's a story that might fizzle.
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