Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Astros GM defends team's actions as playing defense, not offense, in sign-stealing drama

John Tomase
October 17, 2018 - 7:51 pm

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow explained that the team was playing defense, not offense, when it was caught aiming a camera at the Red Sox dugout during Game 1 of the ALCS in Boston.

Speaking to reporters (including Chris Smith of MassLive) before Game 4 in Houston on Wednesday, Luhnow defended his team's actions after MLB cleared the Astros of any wrongdoing.

"You're not allowed to use technology in the aid of sign stealing," Luhnow said. "It's a very clear policy. We understand it. We abide by it. We have abided by it. We plan to continue abiding by it.

"That being said, there's a lot of technology in ballparks these days. Video cameras and high-speed cameras. High magnification cameras, etc. Monitors showing live feeds. So when we go into an opposing ballpark, we tend to look around and make sure we don't see any suspicious activity."

Nothing the Astros do would be considered a surprise to the Red Sox, since manager Alex Cora served as Houston's bench coach last year.

"He worked for us last year. So clearly he knows everything that we're doing," Luhnow said. "And that's the way it works in baseball. Players and coaches and front office members go from one organization to another from one year to the next. So I think everybody has a general feeling for what's going on."

Yahoo Sports identified the man filming the Red Sox dugout as Kyle McLaughlin, whom Luhnow described as an intern. MLB effectively told Luhnow to stop taking security into its own hands.

"MLB prefer we don't look into it ourselves," Luhnow said. "If we see something suspicious, we relay it to them. And we're going to abide by that going forward. That's essentially what happened. We were playing defense. We we were not playing offense."