Lindbergh: Baseball’s ever-expiring secrets

From Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer on February 7, 2017:

ast week, imprisoned former St. Louis scouting director Chris Correa responded to MLB’s ruling in the Cardinals hacking case with a tweeted statement whose 14 sentences amounted to: “The Astros started it.” Within, Correa doubled down on his prior claim that Houston hacked first, accessing Cardinals data that aided the Astros in replicating “key algorithms and decisions tools” related to player evaluation. Correa also asserted that much of the front office was in on the heist, including current Astros GM and longtime Cardinals executive Jeff Luhnow.

Correa, of course, has Ryan Lochte–level credibility. Now permabanned from baseball, he was already serving a 46-month sentence for five criminal counts of unauthorized access, to which he pled guilty last January. Commissioner Rob Manfred immediately refuted some portions of the disgraced Correa’s most recent claims, and no evidence exists to substantiate Correa’s assertion that the Astros acted improperly.

But Correa’s case, and his Twitter protestations, still raise a couple of questions that aren’t easy to answer from outside the front-office fraternity. First: Hacking aside, what would constitute acting improperly, when someone with knowledge of one team’s intellectual property migrates to another team? And second: What can teams do to preserve their IP when they’re liable to lose their most promising personnel to direct competitors?

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Originally published: February 7, 2017. Last Updated: February 7, 2017.