The Houston Astros sign-stealing did not suddenly end come the 2017 postseason, per previous comments from those in the know.
The Astros’ system known as ‘codebreaker’, which was used to steal sign mid-game during the regular season, likely did, in fact, get usage during the postseason. This is from a Los Angeles Times report with sourced intel from members of that team.
“People with direct knowledge of the Astros’ actions say that the team did indeed use its trash-can system during the postseason,” Andy Martino wrote.
The truth of the matter, per Martino, is that the Astros video replay system was noticed in September by pitcher Danny Farquhar. Rather than stop the system altogether and taking Farquhar’s discovery as a warning, the Astros merely hid the live feed and continued stealing signs well into the playoffs.
Houston Astros players deny using illegal sign-stealing in playoffs
The Astros 2017 postseason sign-stealing is tougher to track due to increased crowd noise, but those within the clubhouse suggested it was impossible to do. This includes shortstop Carlos Correa.
“I’m telling you, World Series games are too important to use easy signs,” Correa told MLB Network reporter Ken Rosenthal later. “There are Morse codes out there. There are signs that nobody can get. There are so many variations you can use, and nobody can get that.”
In MLB’s report on the Astros systemic cheating, Rob Manfred said there were conflicting reports about whether Houston stole signs in the postseason, but he “considered the evidence of cheating more credible than the denials,” per the LA Times.
Martino’s book is sure to shed more light on what’s become a modern Black Sox scandal. The punishment from Manfred and MLB was far less severe than those who bet on baseball long ago, though one could argue the Astros sign-stealing is an insult to the game itself, and all the champions who came before them.