Former Houston Astros pitcher says team stole signs during 2017 championship season

Former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers says the team stole signs during their World Series-winning season in 2017, according to a report published Tuesday by The Athletic.

According to the report, a camera mounted in center field at Minute Maid Park was hooked up to a monitor near the Astros dugout. Players and other team employees would watch the feed during games and try to figure out which pitches the opposing catcher would call for. When the observers felt the pitcher would throw a breaking ball, they would signal to the batter at home plate by banging on a nearby trash can.

Fiers and three other unnamed sources described the video system to The Athletic.

Yuli Gurriel and Jose Altuve celebrate during the Houston Astros win over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2017 American League Championship Series.

Yuli Gurriel and Jose Altuve celebrate during the Houston Astros win over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2017 American League Championship Series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The elaborate scheme involved “at least two uniformed Astros” players, according to the report, while a source told The Athletic that the set-up “required technical video knowledge and required the direct aid of at least some on the baseball operations staff.”

“That’s not playing the game the right way,” Fiers, now with the Oakland Athletics, told The Athletic. “They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.”

Major League Baseball prohibits the use of technology to steal signs. In 2017, the Boston Red Sox were fined after the league discovered they were “sending electronic communications from their video replay to an athletic trainer in the dugout.”

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Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled that year that “all 30 clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.”

MLB did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. Multiple attempts were made to reach the Houston Astros by phone and email.

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The sign-stealing debacle is the latest controversy for the Astros, who are under investigation after assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was fired for making "unprofessional and inappropriate" comments to three female reporters after the Astros defeated the New York Yankees in this year's American League Championship Series.