Busch Stadium, home to the St. Louis Cardinals. (credit: Nekonomist)

Theft in professional baseball used to be about stealing bases and signs. But not any more—not in the era of big data.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ former scouting chief pleaded guilty Friday in a Texas federal courtroom to five hacking counts (PDF) in connection to unlawfully accessing a highly confidential database of another Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Houston Astros.
Court documents said Christopher Correa guessed the password to the Astros’ database called “Ground Control.” Court documents describe the data as including scouting reports, statistics and other information “to improve the team’s scouting, communication, and decision-making for every baseball-related decision.” (PDF) The record said that Correa, who faces years in prison when sentenced later this year, used a “variation” of the password that a departed Cardinals employee used before leaving to work for the Astros.
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