When I was growing up in Tennessee, the suggested remedy for my asthma was to “walk it off”. To be fair, that was the remedy for any ailment in Tennessee. According to our textbooks it’s how the state eradicated polio. Ha! I’m kidding. Our textbooks never used long words like “eradicated”.

With asthma, the only sport I could really play with any regularity was baseball. It was a sport that I thoroughly enjoyed playing and still enjoy watching. Yes, even as a Mets fan.

That’s why the recent developments out of St. Louis trouble me. For those of you who haven’t heard or who only care about silly things like politics and talking to your neighbors, this is a huge deal.

The Cardinals are being accused of hacking into the Houston Astros internal database, known as “Ground Control”, to steal things like scouting reports, trade secrets, and barbecue recipes.

You know it’s serious because the Feds are involved, and there’s not a FIFA soccer game anywhere in sight.

I’m thrilled the media is covering it; but what I’m not happy about is that they continue to call the Astros and the Cardinals “rivals”. They were never rivals and never will be. Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens had a bigger rivalry with urine tests than their teams ever had with each other.

The Astros are in another division in another league. At this point the Cardinals have more of a rivalry with North Korea, China, and the New England Patriots. I know, I know. Patriot fans will say that by comparison, deflating game balls is about as harmless as Seattle’s 2nd and Goal playbook. I agree. What the Cardinals did is waaaaay worse.

So here’s why it happened. Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow used to work for the Cardinals. When he jumped ship to Houston, he allegedly took with him some proprietary information, built Ground Control, and failed to change his password. Luhnow claims he did in fact change his password, but we all know that anyone over 55 who says they changed their password means that they added the number 2 after the existing password and considered it Fort Knox worthy.

The prevailing theory is that whoever did this wasn’t looking for a competitive advantage but instead wanted to embarrass Luhnow. Apparently they couldn’t find any drunk selfies that he regrets posting online at 3 AM, so they went with this. The only difference of course being that “federal crime” thing.

It’s a huge scandal, and we still don’t know who was responsible, how far up the ladder it went, and what the punishment will be. Right now all the media can do is speculate and incorrectly call these teams rivals.

For the record, the Cardinals main rivals are the Chicago Cubs, who have to be elated at this news. Given the Cubs’ history, they could use a good laugh, especially at the expense of the Cards. So go crazy, Cub Nation. Go crazy. But just to be safe, change your password to something other than HarryCaray2.

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Categories: Columns