The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians certainly aren’t the first Major League Baseball organizations to be wary of the Houston Astros.
Reports surfaced Tuesday night during the Red Sox’s American League Championship Series Game 3 win over the Astros that claimed Fenway Park security removed an Astros staffer during Game 1 after he was texting frequently in a media-only area near the Boston dugout. The Red Sox reportedly were tipped off by the Indians, who lost to the Astros in the League Division Series, that Houston might try to steal signs from the dugout with a cellphone camera.
Yahoo Sports obtained a photo of someone named Kyle McLaughlin pointing a cellphone camera into the Cleveland dugout during the ALDS. McLaughlin, according to Yahoo, was the same person caught by the Red Sox in Game 1. McLaughlin, while not listed as an Astros employee, posted photos suggesting otherwise on a now-deleted Instagram account, according to Yahoo.
Perhaps this is something we should come to expect from Houston, however, according to the report from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. According to Passan, MLB has investigated cheating allegations against the Astros before. Oakland Athletics players, according to Passan, noticed Astros players clapping in the dugout before pitches and believed that was part of a sign-stealing scheme. The A’s complained to MLB, and the league indicated it would investigate.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Passan, also suspected the Astros of stealing signs in last year’s World Series that Houston ultimately won.
The Astros haven’t been publicly reprimanded for anything related to cheating allegations, and it’s unclear whether punishment is on the way. But obviously there’s no shortage of smoke, and we’ll have to wait and see if (or when) MLB is able to find the fire.