The Morning After STL

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan Says Cards Hacking Scandal ‘an Awesome Story’

Brendan Marks, Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:45:00 GMT

Yahoo Sports baseball writer Jeff Passan joined The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Wednesday to discuss his new book on pitching and various Cardinals-related topics, including the hacking scandal involving the Houston Astros.

Text and audio of the interview can be found below.

Tell us about the book:

“For three years I’ve been following around a couple big league pitchers trying to come back from Tommy John surgery. The other half is me literally going around the world trying to understand the pitching arm and why it gets hurt so much and what people are going to be doing…hopefully to prevent these type of injuries. I’ve learned a lot and saw a completely screwed up baseball culture that incentivizes the wrong things at the wrong ages and puts every single kid who plays competitive baseball if they stand up on the mound.”

How do kids get put ‘in peril’?

“More throwing too much than throwing the wrong way. There is a right way and a wrong way to throw. I think ultimately what it comes down to is a combination of mechanics, usage and genetics. Sometimes some guys have (stronger ligaments). If you get overworked at a young age…which is prevalent…it could be disastrous. We’re talking Tommy John Surgery when you’re 16 or 17 years old.”

What do you think of the hacking investigation?

“As a baseball writer I love it. Not because it’s the Cardinals, because it’s anybody. This is an awesome story. Arguably the most storied franchise in the National League, clean-cut, ‘the best fans in baseball,’ are engaging seemingly in the most 21st century nefariousness possible. It’s one of those things where it could happen to any team. It just sort of matters what nerds you hire. They’re like the coolest nerds ever. I think it’s going to get more fascinating as we go along.”

Do you think it’s overblown?

“It’s not overblown. It’s a crime to go into someone else’s computer. It’s a serious crime right now. If you go in a bunch of times, it evolves beyond pranks. The FBI always wants a big name to go after. That’s why they went after Barry Bonds. Because these are the cases that can make careers. And that’s the ugly part of it. It’s nothing against the Cardinals. They’re just the one who happened to be caught.”

“If there was a crime that was actually committed here…the FBI is not going to look past it because it’s less of a crime. A crime is a crime. Information is money. Proprietary information is particularly valuable these days. All information is valuable in baseball. And when teams are worth billions of dollars, it’s particularly valuable.”

On Jeff Luhnow saying no important information could be gotten:

“I’ve been told by people that there was information of value taken.”

The Cardinals continue to win but have had offensive issues. Who do you think would be a good trade for them if they do it?

“There’s not a whole lot out there offensively. Mark Reynolds hasn’t done a shabby job necessarily. If he can get on base over .300, he’s going to hit you some home runs. The thing to me most shocking about the Cardinals is how good they are at home.”

Download: Passan on The Morning After