Hack … was it enough by Bob Ryan

The Cardinals were handed down a punishment for one of their employees “hacking” the Houston Astros data base….this is like stealing the St. Peter’s bones from the Vatican!  The MLB Comish fined them $2mil and they were forced to hand over the #2 and #3 round picks of 2017 to Houston…..oh…btw…Chris Correa is behind bars for 4 years.  I think that the Cards got off easy…real easy…..why…

…..what did Correa do?   Prosecutors said Chris Correa, who was the Cards scouting director(only 35 years old), repeatedly accessed scouting notes and other data from an internal Astros database, dubbed “Ground Control,” starting in 2013. Government attorneys said Correa continued to view the information and saw at least 188 pages of confidential information ranging from trade discussions and player evaluations to other details meant for the Houston Astros only. Correa’s unauthorized viewing of the Astros data cost the Houston team upwards of $1.7 million. So…let’s break it down to South Side talk….the guy stole information on many different occasions on athlete information  and evaluations…and he did it repeatedly.  The MLB estimates that it cost the Astros $1.7mil….how would you come up with that figure unless you knew specifically which players info was swiped? Correa did all this while working for the Cardinals.

….MLB’s decision of a $2mil fee to Houston….chump change to MLB teams…StL signed a $1billion, 15 years TV contract in 2015…Cards also lost a couple draft picks…neither being the #1 pick of 2017 because the Cards …reading the crystal ball and could see this coming….signed Fowler which forces them to trade their #1 pick. Sure the money goes to Houston..so what…they don’t need money…they need good players.  If you have a roster that propels you to the  post-season, the money will flow.

….now jumps up my cynicism…I can’t believe that in their many discussions about players the Correa provided deep data and highly detailed information…that not ONE executive above Correa ever asked him,”So how do you know that?” Maybe I’ve been watching too many TV shows with conspiracies 

….what a deal for the Cards….you pilfer info on 188 pages from a different organization….how many different players do you think were evaluated in 188 pages…I don’t know but it’s more than 2 guys (# of draft picks lost)….the Cards could combine, compare and contrast the Houston info with their own info…and it really becomes valuable.  What do you lose? For 1 year a #2 and #3 pick and some cash…heck…..do you really think that will deter others from trying to steal data from another team?  I don’t’….my penalty idea….since the MLB is a novice in handing out punishments like this for stealing data…although you can steal signs during the game? …why not emulate the courts ruling…where they DO have experience in that type of thing….they put Correa behind bars for basically 4 years…so I, as commissioner,  would have issued a penalty that paralleled  the courts penalty…the Cards would have lost their #1 pick for 4 years + a fine every year for 4 years(same as Correa)….. Your thoughts? Comment section on bottom  of article. There is not right or wrong…everyone has an opinion.


….Ironically….I wrote this top part of the article early last week….our site-Prepcasts was hacked! My title of Brady or Belichick was changed to something like “Hacked by DB3 893203” or something like that.The article had been modified with all types of foul, vulgar language. It was  all deleted. The original article was put back up with a slightly different title and was also hacked and removed. Unfortunately …attached to each article are the responses…they also were deleted….what a shame….there were over 30 responses that ranged across the board.  I have been able to add some late comments …sent to me on email or messenger…but if you are looking for your comment and it was posted prior to Friday…it’s gone…darn…THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR RESPONSES.  They were terrific!! Now…you can respond to the top paragraph and not feel like you’re getting ignored.

….Interestingly, Belichick in an interview said that if he could have any QB, other than Brady, it would be Bert Jones….he played 1973-82…was a Pro-Bowl player once, the league MVP once in 1976 ..his career was shortened due to the many injuries suffered …ya just never know what Belichick will say…when he talks 


What a fantastic Super Bowl! No….I wasn’t rooting for the Pats… I just wanted a good game.  It WAS a great game….here’s some thoughts on the game…

….Atlanta’s 1st half pass rush clearly affected Brady….in the 2nd half it was negated. How come? the 5 wide out sets used by NE in 2nd half limited the number of pass rushers available to use….the huge D-lineman of Atlanta were on the field a long time and fatigued…NE employed their short passing game requiring less time to release the pass

…in some texts from my family members …some were upset with the 3 holding calls on Atlanta in one of the drives…couple things…I suspect that the NE coaches had been in the ears of the officials to “watch” that guy….2nd…the D-back has to adjust after the 1st penalty called on him…can’t do it 2 more times!  Other than those rash of penalties…I thought that there were few penalties …at least by NFL standards…Belichick is a really clever coach….some points in case…as his wideouts tired in 4t quarter…he inserted a fresh, fast untested rookie(to replace Edelmann) who caught several passes…he replaced the power running back with a speedier one for the same reason…he did this as Atlanta’s defense was on the field for much of the 2nd half and there entire team seemed to be moving in a slower gear than the 1st half. Belichick also had his KO man kick it higher…and shorter.. so it landed in the field of play…making Atlanta return the KO.  On at least 2 occasions, the runner barely made it back to the 10 yard line..not the 20..make the field longer

..Atlanta’s 9th drive was the back-breaker…a truly unbelievable catch by Julio Jones put the ball clearly in FG range… a sack and a penalty(clear hold) pushed the Falcons out of range.  Not 2nd guessing here…I told the general at the time…Falcons should run the ball…they are close enough.. chew up time…kick FG..forget the stats…win the game.

…Brady never seemed to lose his cool…even when the score was lopsided….

…Lady Gaga was entertaining at half… her energy was high, fast-moving, light show was entertaining…staying true to herself her  renditions  of “This land is your Land” (Woody Guthrie was probably smiling) and “Born this Way” pleased her fans….frankly….I had a hard time understanding her words through most of her songs…and since I don’t know the lyrics to the songs..I only caught bits and pieces…it went by me…as most things do J

…the post-game ceremony had some REAL unusual stuff….so the NFL adopts to the hockey version of each guy skating around the rink with the cup…they have a person carry the trophy between winning players on the way to the podium…Willie McGinest (former Patriot)….kept dropping F-bombs as he urged the players to “kiss the ___”..surprisingly to me…the NFL kept the sound on for several minutes to hear Willie’s proclamations..then Roger Dumbnall couldn’t get off of the stage quick enough….his job was to present the trophy to Robert Kraft…the fans booed him loudly and continually…Rogers’ handoff was like a Brady handoff…quick 

It was CYA for Doug Armstrong…So…some one had to go…. Ken Hitchcock was relieved of his duties(1 game short of tying Al Arbour for #3 in all-time wins)….maybe his message was getting old, or maybe he got old, or maybe his hard suggestions were too demanding for the club, or maybe the players just arent’ good enough(Armstrong’s responsibilities)…who knows….however, it seemed strange to me that his successor was hired even before the season began…I’ve never heard of that arrangement previously….we hire your successor while you’re still coaching…did they anticipate this early departure? Or what?….This is coming off the best Blues season in 25 years!…I don’t believe that Hitch has gone “backwards” in hockey knowledge or his love for the game has diminished, and he still motivates in the same grumpy way …. He just doesn’t have the same quality players as last year….maybe they weren’t stars in 15-16 but they played hard and played as a team….To me…Doug Armstrong seems to be more culpable for the quick descent of the Blues..this 16-17 team is too soft, too erratic in goaltending, some of the older players have “aged badly and quickly” in just the last year…e.g. Steen, Stastney…our defensemen are smooth skaters (who don’t score but play extensive minutes most games) but can they move men out from in front of the net?…..making a move now is to “shake up” the players(it’s like a boxer getting refreshed between rounds…how long will this shake up last?)…and to alert the fans…. This season is likely to be very disappointing for you…as if it isn’t already…and for Armstrong to hang on a bit longer! Ahh…do you remember when fans complained because we lost in the playoffs for 25 straight years..generally in the 1st or 2nd round(80-04)….even that would look good now 


I came across an interesting chart….I’ve always wondered, “how many people are actually watching the Cardinal games on TV?”.   According a 2014 chart –Prime Time TV Ratings Chart with average number of ratings, the Cards were 8th  in the league. My reference  chart showed that the Cards averaged 103,000 viewers during prime time of 2014—seems low to me.  The #1 team…NY Yankees averaged 254,000 per game…who was last—Miami Marlins…those poor fish had an average of 29,00 per game watching in prime time TV.  Now…this is not official. My data was taken from a chart written by a guy in Cincinnati who claims the sources were Fox Sports and Multichannel.com…final qualifier of the chart…the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros data was unavailable.


…Carlos Martinez signs for 5 years…generally I’m opposed to any 5 year contract to pitchers…too much risk of injury or too old ..most of these huge contracts take place after the pitcher has reached 27 or 28…so the 30’s bug will catch up to him late in the contract….however in this case, Martinez is only 25 years old…the contract for $51m looks solid…the Cards have option years at $17m & $18m….this signing makes him the true ace of the staff….I like that he’s thrown down the gauntlet that he wants to start on opening day…a symbolic gesture that establishes the ace (at least at the start of the season) ..his contract is a quantum leap from his $539,000 contract of 2016…in addition to his pitching….his “water throwing” in the dugout after HR seem to be a good “fun” thing for the club….especially after July 1…it took the vets about 3 months to get adjusted to this new ritual 


Super Week is behind us now…..on deck—spring training! I’d love to read YOUR thoughts on my penalty for the Cards in the Correa case…






  1. Denis Heneghan says:

    The Cards probably got what they deserved but I think Correa getting banned from baseball might have gone too far. I would like to know who the Cards drafted or traded for that was on the Astro’s web site that Correa had access to. If you cheat by taking PEDs, putting a foreign substance on a pitch, using corked bats, or whatever some one may do the punishment needs to be the same.

  2. Jim Pleimann says:

    Four years worth of draft picks to Houston??? Geez, that’s a bit steep. Yes, what happened wan’t right but the punishment was fair in my eyes. (I don’t think Houston was hurt all that bad. Heck all teams have information on players). I think it set a framework if this happens in the future – and it will.
    The whole coach in waiting was weird from the beginning for the Blues. I didn’t think this was going to work. This team doesn’t even come close to having enough to get out of the first round (as of Feb. 9). Armstrong has a lot to be worried about.
    I think we stole Carlos – if he achieves his possible potential.
    Spring training starts next week. All is well in the world!!!!!

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