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Cardinals employee pleads guilty to hacking; team waiting for penalty

St. Louis CardinalsUncharted waters for Major League Baseball, as St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa pleads guilty to illegal entry into a protected database maintained by the Houston Astros and the team awaits any potential penalties.

Correa was detected as accessing the Astros player scouting database, leading to a June 2015 investigation by the Justice Department and the FBI about corporate espionage. That investigation led to Correa, who was also let by the team.

MLB held off on its own investigation until the feds completed their tasks. With Correa pleading guilty, the MLB investigation should begin after Correa is sentenced on April 11, and the Cardinals front office, led by chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., is awaiting any penalties for the team, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I think you’re talking about a very very unusual situation here,” DeWitt said. “Certainly shocked us. And I think shocked everybody in the game. Look, it’s a very competitive business we all want to beat the other team. Everybody lives within in the rules and tries to figure out what is going to give them an advantage. That sort of activity just not at all in the culture of MLB. I think this is a one-off situation. The commissioner will deal with it. We’ll see how it plays out.”

The Cardinals have not been told anything new about the timetable for an investigation by Major League Baseball….

“I think have confidence in the commissioner doing the right thing, whatever that right thing is,” DeWitt said. “I think it depends on the facts. Some of the facts you know because there was a plea there. But what else they have and want to talk to the commissioner’s office about I don’t know. It remains to be seen.”

As we are in uncharted waters, it’s hard to say what the penalties will be — fines, draft choices, or some mix of the two.

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