St. Louis Cardinals' birds on the bat logo on uniform

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Disgraced Cards Scouting Director Chris Correa Tells Story to SI

The full story can be read on SI.com, but below are a few of the most pertinent facts as told by SI's Ben Reiter.

October 04, 2018 - 9:30 am
Categories: 

It's been more than two years since former St. Louis Cardinals director of scouting Chris Correa was sentenced to 46 months in prison for the hacking scandal of the Houston Astros. In a lengthy interivew with Sports Illustrated, disgraced baseball executive has given us some insight into what he was thinking when he broke into and stole information from the Astros database. 

On top of the jail time, Correa was ordered to pay $279,038 in restitution to the Astros organization after it was proven by investigators in 2016 that Correa illegally accessed the Astros' database more than 48 times. He somtimes searched for up to two hours, absorbing draft rankings, scouting reports and Houston's on trade discussions. 

He has spent most his hard time in a Cumberland, Maryland minimum-security satellite camp, which houses around 250 men. It was described as a dormitory at a cheap university, with no fences or iron poles in windows. In fact inmates could just walk off the complex if they pleased, but "that almost never happens." There's breakfast, lunch and dinner served at the same times each day and a headcount at 10 p.m. before lights out. 

With good behavior, Correa's 46-month sentence has been reduced and he could receive a supervised release as soon as Dec. 31. 

The full story can be read here, but below are a few of the most pertinent facts as told by SI's Ben Reiter: 

No one else in the St. Louis Cardinals organization knew what Correa was doing.

"The breach of the Astros' database was thoroughly investigated by the FBI, by Major League Baseball and through our own internal investigation," says Mike Whittle, the Cardinals' general counsel. "All three of those investigations concluded that the breach of the Astros' database was isolated to a single individual."

Correa believed he was just evening the playing field after the previous director of scouting, Jeff Luhnow and one of his trusted employees, Sig Mejdal left the organization. Correa was the odd-man-out when the two people he worked with the most left St. Louis. 

He also had his suspicions that the two were using the Cardinals coveted proprietary data and algorithms for thier own gains in Houston. 

"It was all in the context of a game, to me. When a pitcher throws at a batter's chest, nobody runs to the local authorities and tries to file an assault charge. I'm not making excuses. I'm trying to explain where my head was at, as I now understand it. If another team does something wrong, you retaliate. That's the lens through which I mistakenly viewed it, and I used that to give myself permission. It was wrong."

One day, Correa says he just typed Mejdal's old password into the Astros' email server. And it worked.

From there he found more passwords to give him more access, which he dug into deeper and deeper until one day in 2014, the FBI came knocking on his door.