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MLB, Astros investigating claims team stole signs in 2017

By Alex Butler
MLB, Astros investigating claims team stole signs in 2017
Players swarm Alex Bregman after his game-winning hit against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, on October 29, 2017. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The Houston Astros and Major League Baseball are working together to investigate claims the team stole signs during its championship 2017 season.

Multiple team sources, including former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, informed The Athletic of the team's practices.

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"Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier [Tuesday], the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball," the Astros said in a statement. "It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time."

The Athletic report cited three anonymous sources, in addition to Fiers, who say the team placed a television in a dugout tunnel at Houston's Minute Maid Park and relayed a feed of the opposing catcher's signs. If the feed picked up certain pitches, someone would bang on a trash can loudly to tip the Astros batter off to which pitch was coming.

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Fiers, 34, played for the Astros from 2015 through 2017. Houston beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win the 2017 World Series. MLB told The Athletic in a statement that numerous teams expressed concerns about other clubs stealing signs at the beginning of that season.

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"As a result of those concerns, and after receiving extensive input from the general managers, we issued a revised policy on sign stealing prior to the 2019 season," the league said. "We also put in place detailed protocols and procedures to provide comfort to clubs that other clubs were not using video during the game to decode and steal signs.

"After we review this new information we will determine any necessary next steps."

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