Just when you thought Major League Baseball's sign-stealing scandal was close to being settled, a whole new can of worms was opened up on Thursday.
Rumors swirled on social media about the Houston Astros using buzzers underneath their jerseys to illegally steal signs. These allegations are separate from Houston's initial sign-stealing scandal that led to the firings of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
But according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, MLB didn't find any evidence during its investigation pointing to wearable devices being used for sign-stealing.
from MLB with so much coming out publicly about Altuve HR to end ALCS and other incidents: "MLB explored wearable devices during the investigation but found no evidence to substantiate it.” That investigation, MLB said, includes 2019.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 16, 2020
Sherman also tweeted a statement from Astros star Jose Altuve, via Altuve's agent Scott Boras. In the statement, Altuve denies ever wearing electronic devices to gain an advantage:
Reach out to Scott Boras about his client Jose Altuve: “When this came up today, Jose Altuve immediately contacted me and this is his statement: ‘I have never worn an electronic device in my performance as a major league player.’” #Astros— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 16, 2020
While MLB didn't find anything to suggest the Astros used the buzzers, that doesn't mean it didn't happen. At this point, Houston doesn't exactly have the benefit of the doubt. True or not, it's hard to believe these allegations will go away any time soon.
There already has been plenty of fallout from the initial sign-stealing scandal. In addition to Hinch and Luhnow being relieved of their duties, the Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora mutually agreed to part ways. In its investigation, MLB found that Cora played a central role in the Astros' scandal when he was Houston's bench coach in 2017.