Carig: How one angry Astros fan sought his own answers in the sign-stealing scandal

From Marc Carig at The Athletic on January 29, 2020:

In 2017, Tony Adams, along with his wife and his daughter, were forced from their home by the floodwaters brought by Hurricane Harvey. He left with nothing but a trash bag filled with clothes, and he would not return for another 15 months. His entire neighborhood was devastated. That’s why when his beloved Astros won the World Series that fall, the lifelong Houstonian was watching from the home of a friend. As he relayed the memory on Wednesday afternoon, Adams stopped abruptly, taking a moment to compose himself. “When they won, we needed something, I needed something, we all needed something,” Adams said of the accomplishment, which he now knows has been tainted.

It’s part of the reason that he devoted upwards of 50 hours spread out over weeks to build the website A graphic designer and web developer by trade, Adams wrote an app to pull the Statcast data that he needed. Then he cataloged every instance of trash can banging that he found during the 2017 season. The work was meticulous. It began during the holidays — even before the league had released the findings of its investigation — and culminated on Wednesday, when he publicized the site via his Twitter feed.

“To see that it happened that year, to be honest with you, it’s devastating as an Astros fan,” said Adams, who sorted through every Astros home game with available video from the 2017 regular season. That covers 58 games and a total of 8,274 pitches. Confirmed by the use of a spectrogram, he logged 1,143 trash can bangs. He insists on allowing readers to draw their own conclusions. But his data seems to tell a story, much of it lining up with commissioner Rob Manfred’s nine-page report.

Read the full article here (subscription required):

Originally published: January 29, 2020. Last Updated: January 29, 2020.