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Saturday, February 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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MLB notes: Cardinals’ interval review clears top executives in hacking of Astros’ database

The Cardinals are being investigated for an illegal breach of the Astros’ database. (Associated Press)
The Cardinals are being investigated for an illegal breach of the Astros’ database. (Associated Press)

High-level executives of the St. Louis Cardinals were not involved in the hacking of the Houston Astros’ player personnel database, an attorney hired by the team said Wednesday, citing an internal review.

The Cardinals said they retained the Dowd Bennett firm for a review several months before this week’s disclosure that the FBI is investigating whether the team hacked into the Astros computer system that is used to track players and prospects.

“With what we have done so far, I am 100 percent confident that this does not touch upper management and does not involve people like John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt,” Jim Martin, an attorney for the firm, told The Associated Press. Mozeliak is the Cardinals’ general manager and DeWitt is the team chairman.

Martin said he was retained in February.

The FBI has declined to confirm it is investigating the Cardinals, but a person familiar with the investigation earlier told the AP that federal authorities are investigating whether members of the team were to blame for what Major League Baseball called a “breach” of the Astros database. There has been no indication of how many employees might be under investigation and Martin’s comments were the first to suggest that any wrongdoing could be limited to the lower levels of the Cardinals organization.

The internal investigation is not finished.

“These are serious allegations that don’t reflect who we are as an organization,” DeWitt said.

Bullpen phone was off the hook

The Philadelphia Phillies won’t miss another call to the bullpen.

With outfielder Jeff Francoeur pitching in the eighth Tuesday, his second inning of a 19-3 loss at Baltimore, pitching coach Bob McClure tried to call the bullpen to get someone to warmup as Francoeur’s pitch count rose. But the phone was off the hook.

McClure resorted to waiving a white towel to get the bullpen’s attention, only adding to the embarrassment of the evening.

“It’s a mishap that can happen but can never happen again,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday. “It’s been discussed. Taken care of. It’s not our greatest moment, but it’s been addressed.”

Amaro said it was all part of the frustration currently felt by the Phillies, who have lost nine straight and 12 of 13 games while amassing baseball’s worst record at 22-45.

Clearing the bases

Padres center fielder Wil Myers will have surgery to remove a bone spur in his left wrist and is likely to miss the next two months. … Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says he deserves most of the blame with his club struggling for the second straight year. Entering Wednesday, Boston is 99-129 since winning the 2013 World Series under manager John Farrell. … The Braves have optioned Mike Foltynewicz to Triple-A Gwinnett after the right-hander struggled in his past three starts. … Former Reds teammates Tony Perez and Ken Griffey Sr. will be the managers for the All-Star Futures Game at Cincinnati on July 12. … Players at the All-Star game will wear caps patterned after those worn by Cincinnati’s players in the 1880s and 1890s.

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