Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ortiz: No Winners, Only Losers in Hacking Scandal

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ortiz: No Winners, Only Losers in Hacking Scandal

Article excerpt

Chris Correa sullied one proud organization and embarrassed another one. Then he acted like a coward and refused to cooperate with Major League Baseball's investigation into his extensive intrusion into the Astros' proprietary database.

Correa testified that he told colleagues he had seen the Cardinals' information in the Astros' database, but somehow we are expected to believe nobody with authority asked him how he saw it.

He never gave up any names, though, so you'll have to take the Cardinals' word that this was merely a case of one rogue employee. The rest of the baseball world views it differently. That's the burden the Cardinals' reputation must now carry.

Regardless, there were no winners in a regrettable hacking scandal that finally came to a conclusion Monday when baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred ordered the Cardinals to give the Astros $2 million and their top two picks in this June's draft.

The Cardinals, Astros and Correa all lost on this one.

The Cardinals lost more than just $2 million and the 56th and 75th picks in the draft. They also paid a price in terms of their reputation.

The Astros were robbed of two years worth of scouting data. They were also ridiculed and forced to apologize to other teams after some of their trade talks were leaked in 2014. In an industry that requires discretion in trade talks, you cannot put a value on those leaks.

At a time when Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was already under fire while the losses mounted in the final year of the team's tanking process, he had to weather embarrassing leaks that caused more doubts about his plan.

Correa, who was sentenced last July to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to five counts of intrusion, is the ultimate loser. He is paying dearly with his freedom and his career. That's not to mention his self respect and dignity.

"Clearly disappointed," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "You'd certainly rather not be sitting here having this discussion and having to defend what happened. You look at his actions and what it led to, it's certainly not positive for anybody involved, including himself.

"And so if you could hit the reset the button and redo history, you'd certainly try. But unfortunately you certainly can't."

Sadly for the Cardinals, few in baseball believe Correa acted alone. That stain will remain with owner Bill DeWitt Jr., Mozeliak and Correa's good friend Mike Girsch long after the franchise recovers from Manfred's penalties.

The MLB record $2 million fine and the loss of the second and compensatory-round picks was a steep penalty, in my opinion. Some think the Cardinals got off lightly, though.

Whatever the case, Manfred made an example out of the Cardinals to remind teams that MLB will not tolerate cyber espionage. …

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