Harsh Penalties For Cardinals In Hacking Scandal Could Set Strong Precedent For MLB
The Cardinals are prepared for MLB’s "response and potential penalties" after a former club exec pleaded guilty to multiple counts of hacking into the Astros' computer database, according to Derrick Goold of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The club remains "unsure of when or how" the penalties will BE levied. Cardinals Senior VP & GM John Mozeliak yesterday discussed the case for the first time, but explained he is "limited in what he can say publicly" until former Scouting Dir Chris Correa is sentenced on April 11. Mozeliak said that he "was confident" no other member of the front office "would be implicated." Mozeliak: "I hope there isn’t. I think before we totally engage in answering everything we need these proceedings to be conducted.” MLB officials have said that the league "would wait to launch an investigation until the federal one was finished." Goold notes the commissioner’s office "has broad power when it comes to determining penalties, and that could range from fines to financial restraints to confiscating draft picks." The Astros also "could be awarded damages." Mozeliak "spoke at length about one area of repercussion." In addition to any penalties that MLB could levy, the Cardinals’ brand "already has taken welts publicly." Team Chair & CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. has described the investigation as "embarrassing for the organization" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/12).
TAKING A STAND: ESPN.com's Jim Bowden wrote one of Rob Manfred's "biggest tests so far as commissioner" is whether to "impose penalties" against the Cardinals. Manfred "could set a precedent to further deter teams from even entertaining the possibility of hacking." The "difficult part" for Manfred is that DeWitt is "one of the most respected owners in baseball." Both DeWitt and Mozeliak are "known for their integrity, and neither had any knowledge of Correa's wrongdoings, according to the federal investigation." But Manfred "needs to take a strong stand, send a message to all 30 teams that addresses the severity of crimes of this nature and issue penalties." MLB should "fine the Cardinals" at least $1.7M and "take away draft picks." The Cardinals should also "repay [the] Astros' legal fees" and MLB should issue "new computer requirements" (ESPN.com, 1/11).