Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Report: MLB teams 'appalled' at decision to not investigate Astros sign-stealing accusations

Alex Reimer
October 18, 2018 - 11:41 am

Call it the anti-Roger Goodell approach.

Major League Baseball issued a statement Wednesday saying it will not conduct an additional investigation over charges about the Astros stealing signs. In Game 1 of the ALCS, the Red Sox ejected an unauthorized Houston employee from the media well after he was spotted pointing his cell phone camera into the Boston dugout. It’s suspected the person, identified as Kyle McLaughlin, was trying to surreptitiously gather information about the Red Sox.

“With respect to both incidents regarding a Houston Astros employee, security identified an issue, addressed it and turned the matter over to the Department of Investigations,” the statement reads. “A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules.  All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution.  We consider the matter closed.”

The Astros claim they deployed McLaughlin to the Red Sox area to protect themselves from covert spying measures. Dave Dombrowski told reporters he’s upset about the implication.

Regardless, it’s apparent these surreptitious surveillance measures are widespread throughout the game. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports an extra coach was kicked out of the dugout during the Red Sox-Yankees series, and there were “multiple accusations of deceit” during the Dodgers-Rockies series as well. Earlier this week, Passan reported the A’s also lodged a sign-stealing complaint against the Astros this season. 

With all of that in mind, teams are furious the league is opting to downplay the issue, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. “Many team officials across baseball frustrated, appalled by MLB decision on Astros/spygate. They believe that Rob Manfred threatened in past to come down hard on violators of electronic surveillance rule, and now with crystal-clear evidence of HOU breaking rules, nothing happens,” he tweeted Wednesday night prior to Game 4 of the ALCS.

It’s understandable that commissioner Rob Manfred may not want drama over sign-stealing to take over the postseason. But if these reports keep surfacing, he may not be able to stop it.