The Houston Astros sported a bright orange kit on occasion during their Championship season in 2017. However, the future doesn’t look too bright for the Houston Astros currently. The Astros were long suspected by rival teams and industry insiders of using electronic methods to steal opponents’ signs at their home stadium, Minute Maid Park. Earlier last month, Major League Baseball (MLB) began investigating claims that the Houston Astros used electronic equipment to steal pitching signs during their championship season two years ago. That investigation has come a long way in the last couple of weeks.
Former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic that the team used a camera in center field during their championship season in 2017. https://t.co/aEv9Rvl4kZ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 12, 2019
The numbers surrounding the controversy are staggering. In November, four team sources associated with the Houston Astros confirmed the existence of the sign-stealing system set in place by the team. Now, the MLB has interviewed almost 60 witnesses and obtained close to 76,000 emails during its investigation. Former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers was among the first to admit that the team used a camera in center field two years ago when they won their only World Series title.
When the controversy came to light, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the MLB was investigating Houston’s conduct for the past three seasons. He also said that he hoped to complete the inquiry before the start of next season. However, considering the number of documents involved in the investigation, it seems unlikely that the league will be able to release its report before the end of the year. While sign stealing is not illegal in baseball, the sport's wider regulations "prohibit the use of electronic equipment" to steal signs or send information that could give a team an advantage.