The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating the Saint Louis Cardinals for corporate espionage in hacking the databases of the Houston Astros.
According to reports, personnel within the Cardinals organization used a tactic of guessing passwords based on old passwords used when the Houston Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow, was a member of the Cardinals front office.
According to the New York Times report it was an act of "vengeance and fear". The Cardinals employees were fearful of Luhnow using Cardinals' secrets to help the Astros win. They were secrets he helped establish within the organization.
In the winter of the 2011/12 season, Luhnow was hired by the Astros. During that time he took the Astros from worst to first. In his model they took the tear-it-down-and-rebuild approach. He got the major league payroll as low as $13 million.
2015 - 38 28 .576
2014 - 70 92 .432
2013 - 51 111 .315
2012 - 55 107 .340
2011 - 56 106 .346
According to Deadspin, trade talks, that may or may not have been in the media, were leaked from the Astros' servers. This includes talks of who the Astros wanted to acquire, or would not give up in trades.
While this could be public information, it wasn't public knowledge at the time. There is only one way to deal with the people who committed these acts - permanent banishment from baseball.
Must be punished
In 1919, eight men were banned from baseball for fixing the World Series. Before that, while all were reinstated, men were banned from baseball for attempting to fix games, and of course, the all-time hit king, Pete Rose, is currently serving a permanent ban for betting on the Reds while managing them.
In today's world, corporate espionage is no joke. While it may have been "child's play" for these members of the Cardinals to hack into the Astros, what would stop someone from doing the same on a much more dastardly level.
We don't want the players on the field to get an edge illegally through performance enhancement. We should hold executives within the organization to higher standards than the players.
If it is proven that these men committed the crimes, they should not be permitted to work in baseball ever again.