Plenty of online eyebrows were raised Tuesday night with the news that the Houston Astros were suspected of using an employee to steal signs and information from the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, but one Twitter account in particular seems quite notable.
A Twitter account appearing to belong to former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa tweeted, “Guess who isn’t surprised?”
Guess who isn’t surprised?
— Chris Correa (@chriscorrea) October 17, 2018
Correa, of course, is well known for his role in the Cardinals hacking scandal in 2016 in which he reportedly hacked into the Astros’ proprietary scouting database 48 times to steal information over the course of two and a half years. The aftermath of that ordeal was the Cardinals surrendering $2 million and two draft picks to the Astros and Correa receiving 46 months in prison, as well as a permanent ban from MLB.
Is this really Chris Correa?
It appears to be, for multiple reasons. First, the account dates back to Jan. 2009, so we can be pretty sure this isn’t a random person opening an account in response to the Astros story.
As of Tuesday night, the account is still followed both by the St. Louis Cardinals’ official Twitter account, as well as multiple Cardinals beat writers. Finally, the sporadic activity of the account lines up with Correa’s interests and his time in prison. The account’s activity is heavy on baseball and, recently, prison activism, with no tweets or liked tweets between when he started his prison sentence in Aug. 2016 and when he was supposed to receive a supervised release in Dec. 2017.
Due to all those factors, it’s probably reasonable to conclude that this is indeed Correa.
Wait, shouldn’t the Astros be the ones upset with Chris Correa?
You’d think so! After all, the Astros were the victims of Correa’s hacking. Usually, it’s the victim angry at the perpetrator, not the other way around. However, Correa’s online bitterness would make some sense given what the former scouting director has publicly said since his sentencing.
In a statement released during his prison sentence, Correa claimed that the only reason he illegally hacked into the Astros database was that an Astros employee illegally hacked into the Cardinals database first. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow had previously worked for the Cardinals front office before landing in Houston in 2011, a connection Correa reportedly used to figure out passwords in the Astros database.
On December 21, 2011, a Houston Astros employee accessed propriety data on a St. Louis Cardinals server. Later I would learn – through unlawful matters – that Cardinals data were used extensively from 2012 through 2014. Houston Astros employees used the data to replicate and evaluate key algorithms and decision tools related to amateur and professional player evaluation. Many individuals throughout the Houston organization, including the General Manager and the Assistant General Manager, were included in e-mail discussions about these matters.
With the Astros now facing a possible cheating scandal of their own, Correa might have a reason or two for some schadenfreude if you take him at his word.
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