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It’s a story that elicits strong reactions from baseball players around the Majors. The Houston Astros are being investigated by MLB for their sign-stealing techniques in 2017.

The Astros, according to stories from The Athletic, had a live video feed fixated on the catcher’s signs from center field. A person reportedly banged on a trash can to signal to the hitter in the batter’s box which pitch was coming. Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers confirmed the method to The Athletic.

ESPN reported an Astros executive sent an email to scouts requesting that they point a camera from the stands to the opposing team’s dugout. The Astros won the World Series in 2017.

“This Astros thing is bad!!!” Reds reliever Kevin Gausman wrote on Twitter. “Guys lost jobs, got sent down, missed service time (because) of how they were hit in (Houston). Does anyone really think they only did this in ’17?”

This Astros thing is bad!!! Guys lost jobs, got sent down, missed service time bc of how they were hit in HOU. Does anyone really think they only did this in 17? #getreal

— Kevin Gausman (@KevinGausman) November 14, 2019
Gausman, then with the Baltimore Orioles, made one start at Houston’s Minute Maid Park in 2017, allowing two runs on eight hits in 6 ⅔ innings while striking out two. The Orioles lost 2-0.

During the 2018 American League Division Series, the Cleveland Indians filed a complaint with MLB against the Astros, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, after they saw an Astros employee filming video inside their dugout with a cellphone from the photographer’s pit.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) paces after striking out his 11th batter of the night in the seventh inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. The Padres won the series opener 3-2.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) paces after striking out his 11th batter of the night in the seventh inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. The Padres won the series opener 3-2. (Photo: Sam Greene)

The Astros swept the Indians in three games. Reds starter Trevor Bauer, then with the Indians, pitched out of the bullpen in all three games.

“Ooooohhhhhh, so you mean to tell me the guy videoing our dugout in 2018 ALDS wasn’t just doing that to ‘protect against the Indians stealing signs?’” Bauer wrote on Twitter. “Who would have ever guessed that he was up to no good. What a revelation … maybe MLB will do something about it this time.”

OOOOOHHHHHH SO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THE GUY VIDEOING OUR DUGOUT IN 2018 ALDS WASN’T JUST DOING THAT TO “PrOtEcT aGaInSt ThE iNdIAnS sTeAlInG sIgNs”!? WHO WOULD HAVE EVER GUESSED THAT HE WAS UP TO NO GOOD. WHAT A REVELATION…maybe @Mlb will do something about it this time but ‍♂️ https://t.co/zuwDswDczr

— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) November 17, 2019
Sign stealing has always been a part of the sport but using technology to steal signs is prohibited. The Boston Red Sox were fined in 2017 for reportedly using Apple Watches to relay the catcher’s signs to the dugout.

“When technology changes, people are always going to find edges and maybe they convince themselves that somehow they are on the right side of the line when they’re not,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams told The Enquirer. “I don’t know what goes through their heads, but clearly there has been a lot of attention drawn to it and I think it’s the exceptions rather than the rule because we’re paying so much attention to when it’s discovered.

“The general managers don’t want any part of it. The players and coaches don’t want any part of it. The commissioner’s office is trying to get rid of it. I think they are going to have to continue to try to figure out ways to prevent it because teams are creative when it comes to gaining an edge. Nowadays, everybody in the ballpark has electronics and it’s pretty hard to police it.”

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