Published: Sat, January 09, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Former St. Louis Cardinals official pleads guilty to hacking into Astros database


Chris Correa, the former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, will reportedly plead guilty Friday to criminal charges related an unauthorized breach the Houston Astros' computer network. That protected computer held the player personnel database of the Houston Astros.

Correa was charged with five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer.  After the Astros implemented new security procedures, prompted by a Houston Chronicle story about Ground Control, the Astros emailed a new URL for the Ground Control website and a new default password to employees.

"It was stupid", replied Correa, who is free on $20,000 bond.

"Whatever information he saw in the Astros database, he reported that to the Cardinals organization and, again, the Cardinals never contacted us to raise any concern that what was in our system might be proprietary", Astros general counsel Giles Kibbel said Friday.

Correa later intruded into that account during the July 31, 2013, trade deadline and viewed notes of the Astros' trade discussions with other teams. The hacking scandal has certainly tarnished the Cardinals' reputation, and it is too early to say how much further this investigation will go to uncovering potential illegal activity by Cardinals employees.

Astros fans really didn't need another reason to dislike the St. Louis Cardinals, but today they get one anyway.

Utilizing analysis tricks made famous in the movie "Moneyball", Luhnow built his "Ground Control" database into a statistical coaching machine that helped boost the 2015 Astros to a winning season with one of the lowest payrolls. Luhnow was a key figure in the Cardinals' own database, called Redbird.

"There are people with the Cardinals who think Luhnow took credit for a lot of the things St. Louis has been doing for years", the source told SI.

Correa was fired by the Cardinals in July. For example, during 2013, he was able to access scout rankings of every player eligible for the draft.

 

Cardinals officials - apparently Correa - are believed to have used old passwords to gain access to the Astros' network.

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