The story around the F.B.I. investigation of the Ground Control corruption continues to evolve. The story was originally brought to light by the New York Time's Michael Schmidt, outlining the bombshell that the source of the digital breakin came from another major league baseball team, the Cardinals. There wasn't much detail around the specific employees that did the deed outside of being the Cardinals' front office:
Investigators have uncovered evidence that Cardinals employees broke into a network of the Astros that housed special databases the team had built, law enforcement officials said.
The officials did not say which employees were the focus of the investigation or whether the team’s highest-ranking officials were aware of the hacking or authorized it.
Law enforcement officials believe the hacking was executed by vengeful front-office employees for the Cardinals hoping to wreak havoc on the work of Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager, who had been a successful and polarizing executive with the Cardinals until 2011.
The Houston Chronicle's David Barron and Evan Drellich reported late last night that the bureau has narrowed its focus to a handful of Cardinals employees:
One person briefed on the case told the Chronicle that four to five individuals within the Cardinals organization are a focus of investigators, and multiple sources said the FBI is expected to complete its investigation soon.
My ears perked up when I read the word "soon", because the longer this investigation lingers the more the story will spin and turn without facts.
Yahoo Sports columnist, Jeff Passan added another layer to the investigation, noting the location of the original hack:
One official familiar with the investigation told Yahoo Sports the FBI traced the breach back to a house in Jupiter, Fla., the city in which the Cardinals hold spring training. A number of Cardinals employees used the house, according to the official, perhaps complicating authorities' ability to pinpoint the alleged culprits.
Evan Drellich confirmed another location was searched as well:
A person familiar with the situation confirmed to the Chronicle that a house in that area had been looked at, but noted that other addresses — including at least one in a state with no major league team — had been looked at as well.
At the moment, we know it was a lower-to-midlevel Cardinals employee that had some free time while in Jupiter. The picture is filling, and it appears we will soon have more info when the investigation completes.