As hacking scandal finally ends, Astros satisifed with Cardinals’ penalty

On Monday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred finally levied his penalty on the Cardinals for the hacking campaign perpetrated by their former scouting director, Chris Correa, against the rival Astros. The reaction of the baseball community was swift and all but universal: That’s it?

As punishment for Correa’s extended, 2 1/2-year act of corporate espionage—in which he accessed the Astros’ internal database, Ground Control, nearly 50 times and illegally provided the Cardinals with untold competitive and economic advantages (from which they might continue to benefit for years to come)—St. Louis must send to Houston the sum of $2 million and their first two draft picks this year, Nos. 56 and 75. Correa, now banned from baseball for life, might wish the judge who sentenced him to 46 months in a federal penitentiary had such a light touch.

Still, the group of those who thought that Manfred ought to have been harsher—what is $2 million to a club valued by Forbes at $1.6 billion?—was missing a key member: the Astros themselves.

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