In an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow responds to the NYT bombshell article about the FBI investigation into alleged hacking by the STL Cardinals organization into the Astros Ground Control database.
The interview seems intended to dispel multiple aspects of the original story. According to Luhnow:
His passwords were not the problem and plenty secure, thank you very much. He said,
I absolutely know about password hygiene and best practices. I’m certainly aware of how important passwords are, as well as of the importance of keeping them updated. A lot of my job in baseball, as it was in high tech, is to make sure that intellectual property is protected. I take that seriously and hold myself and those who work for me to a very high standard.
He also addressed the notion that the Cardinals officials who did this had been worried Luhnow had improperly taken proprietary info with him when he left the organization to become the Astros GM. Luhnow denied the allegation, saying he is fully aware of the law, what he signed and what he was bound to do, asserting instead that he was in full compliance. He also argued that due to the current rapid rate of progress in baseball analytics, having that info wouldn't do much good anyway as it would have become outdated by now.
He also rejected out of hand the ongoing rumors that his departure from the Cardinals was tumultuous and due in part to bad relationships with certain people in the organization. He stressed he was on very good terms with others in the front office, adding that his departure was a typical situation, due only to the promotion being offered by the Astros.
Finally, in terms of damage to the Astros, Luhnow says it is very hard to assess. Yes, at the time of the breach, he had to make difficult phone calls to every other GM apologizing for the leaks but since then he's "had no problems getting anybody on the phone."