Report: Astros’ sign-stealing extended to road games, too

The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme was an elaborate procedure that extended to road games as well as home games, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.In an extensive look into the scandal that cost Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch their jobs, the Journal detailed the origins and execution of the plan the Astros front office reportedly referred to as “Codebreaker.”Derek Vigoa, at the time a front office intern but now the Astros’ senior manager for team operations, reportedly devised an Excel-based program for deciphering the signs of the opposing catcher.A Major League Baseball investigation found that the Astros illegally stole signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Houston won the World Series in 2017.Luhnow and Hinch were each handed one-year suspensions by MLB after the probe was completed on Jan. 13, and both men were fired by Astros owner Jim Crane later that day.According to the Journal, Astros director of advance information Tom Koch-Weser maintained that Luhnow was in the know on the operation, and emails seen by MLB investigators were sent to Luhnow regarding “Codebreaker.”Koch-Weser also stated that Luhnow would make comments such as, “You guys Codebreaking?” while visiting the team clubhouse on road trips, but Luhnow denied knowing that the program was being used in-game.The former GM said that he thought the sign-stealing was only being done after games, which would be legal under baseball rules.The Journal reported that Astros pro scouting analysis manager Matt Hogan told MLB investigators that staffers wanted Luhnow to know of Codebreaker: “It would have been something to show we were working and get validation of our work.”