The Hunt for Red Hack … by Bob Ryan

hackingSome things seem impossible….and some really are….but how did it happen ….who? why?… when?… how?….all the classic questions. Someone actually hacked into the Astros data base from the Redbirds HQ… stunned Cardinal nation who honor the redbirds as if the pope had canonized them upon wearing the birds on the bat uni….and it was done on a couple occasions so this wasn’t some “fired up” techies getting a wild hair one night and piling up energy, ideas, momentum and beer bottles as the hack was hatched, devised and carelessly ram-rodded through the night…no….this was done over a couple of years. More on this episode later…but…this is about as likely as ….


…American Pharoah ever racing again

….Disney producing a porno movie

….Jeff Luenow ever attending a Cardinal Christmas-Party

….FredBird pinch-hitting

….John Calipari graduating one of his NBA players from Kentucky…sorry Joe…

…Jim Harbaugh returning to the NFL as a head coach

….Tony Cruz starting 3 consecutive games for StL Cards

….a golf announce yelling to describe a terrific shot …instead of the usual….whispering…he lets it go….it looks good…it’s on line….yes…he just sank a 212 foot putt…it’s wonderful

….a white person, in disguise, directing the NAACP….oh…wait, we’ve had that too

….Kim Anderson lasting 5 years as the Mizzou Head Coach

….any CSI or NCIS show NOT solving the case

….Tavon Austin learning the complete NFL playbook

….any fan paying ANY attention to A-Rod as he breaks benchmarks

….an Olympic decathlon champion making himself a woman…oops…had that too

….Muhammad Ali ever being seen in public again

….as anyone really watching the 4:00am news show…come on….either ur hung over, working a night shift or having severe sleep issues…I guess when they promo themselves as having the best ratings that their in-studio monitors are doing the trick

….Tiger Woods returning to being in the Final Group on Sunday’s

….the Phillies seeing .500 this year

….LeBron James losing to anyone in the world in a 1 on 1 basketball game

….the Ivy League football Champion winning the collegiate football championship

….the Rams having any crowds over 40,000 this year

….Joe Buck returning to the day-day Cardinals announcer position

….the power 5 conferences remaining in the NCAA for 10 more years


   Now it’s time to call in our favorite detective, Sherluck Klueless, to grapple with these perplexing facts. OK….at the beginning…Shurluck discovers that the Cardinals wanted to jump into the deep waters quickly back in 2003 in the Sabermetric Ocean. They brought in several non-baseball guys to use….you might say, “manipulate” the numbers in ways never considered previously by the Birdies. Jeff Luhnow was part of the gaggle of techy nerds who arrived on the scene and was known as “harry potter”. I don’t know if that means he played sports games on flying brooms or what…anyway…..   As Shurluck dug deeper, he learned that Luhnow inserted….maybe too strong of a word…into the baseball personnel decision-making. This would eventually lead to the departure of Walt Jocketty. Inspector Klueless checked that the Cards won their division in 2004, 05, 06 and then in 09 and that in his first 3 drafts, Luhnow has 24 draftees reach the MLB (best in baseball for that time period). Luhnow departs in 2011 for Houston …probably without any going away party from his colleagues who …in some cases….probably resent the credit that Luhnow is receiving. In fact…that Harry Potter broom may have been used to sweep out all him remnants…but he wasn’t forgotten by some of the lowering’s of the organization who didn’t like….resented …. Were jealous of….couldn’t let bygones be gone….choose any of the above…maybe all of them. They’d get even. The dark side of human nature.


Sherluck jumps ahead in this deep work…. about as deep as the roots of any weed…anyway…some night after a day of work at Jupiter….a long dinner with plenty of liquid to bolster their confidence….some young nerdies ….they do realize that they really are miniature Jeff Luhnow’s….decide to hack the “Great One”…sorry Mark Levine…this is a Klueless story.   It actually works….probably much to their surprise…although I’ve never seen any techies who seem surprised with their outstanding work—it’s ALWAYS THEIR work!! ….anyway….it’s over….they get the urge a couple times more in future years and finally send some info to another web site in the hope of discrediting their hero turned villain.


Now…the tough part for Sherluck….was any of this Houston material used in evaluation meetings (with it coming as their work/idea?)….team discussions …who can tell…was it an original idea, an idea that had been sparked by reading Houston’s stuff, a complete repeat of the Astros line of thought. If these Luhnow wantabe’s used a common computer in the Cardinals lab…it’ll be tough to pin-point the culprit…..if the fools used their own computer…’s easy.   When Sherluck stumbles across one of the quick-fingered, slow to talk, young corp of techies, he’ll try to get him to “roll” on the higher ranking Cards mgmt.. you’ve seen enough of Sherluck’s TV shows … to see the rest of what’s coming so let’s move on… what’s worse than catching these cyber thieves?…


Not catching anyone and not charging anyone with this crime would find the Cardinals already darkened reputation sinking even further….and yes…Pandora is out of the box….that once shiny, flawless, sparkling Cardinal reputation can’t be put back into the box….for a long, long time…..beyond Sherluck Klueless’ lifetime.


Now back Inside the Lines…

….when the Cardinals won three consecutive one run games from Pitt on May 1-2-3and the following Friday Michael Wacha beat them to put the Pirates 9 games out on May 9 with 13-16 record. Since that low-water mark they are 26-13 but have only sliced 3 games off the Cardinal lead … it’s now 6 games.

….after Mark Reynolds botched two plays at 1B on consecutive days (jumped off base too soon taking a throw and could not dig out or block a bounced throw), he’s back on the bench as a PH/occasional replacement.

….the CF battle is no longer just between Jay & Bourjas….you’ve gotta add Grichuk to the mix

…..the best team won the NBA Championship….Golden State was 67-15 for the entire season….Curry is fabulous to watch….choosing the man who guarded Lebron as the MVP is a head scratcher….Lebron avg 35.8 ppg, 13.8 reb/game, 8.8 ast/game for the series…I mean how much more could Lebron have done? Was the guy trying to guard him the most valuable player of the series? … I don’t see that Andre Iguodala’s defense really mattered…how much more could he have scored? Was Wilt’s 100 point record in Jeopardy?…LeBron got beat by human nature…you can only play that well so long in a series.

….Justin Hayward’s improvement at the plate has been encouraging…still don’t know if he’s worth multi-million $$$$ per year for many years.

….I see Mizzou has the always tough SE Missouri State on its football schedule again. Last year the Redhawks were 5-7. Doesn’t that want to make you fly down to Columbia for the opening game? You mean to tell me that a win over SEMO is more valuable than a close game with Ohio State? If they get beat by a wide margin against the defending NCAA champ (or another very good team), they really aren’t’ a #1 type of team anyway. To me…it’s a win-win even if you lose. They still have the SEC games to work their way to the title and very good bowl games When will D-1 football get to the point that NCAA D-1 basketball is—i.e. playing good, or even very good, non-league opponents?. I guess when the D-1 Football tourney has 68 teams.


  1. John Rocco says:

    Bob as always good stuff. I think the scenario you laid out on the hacking incident is close to what really happened. Hopefully, we’ll know the details soon. Regards. John

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