5:53pm: In a followup interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, Mozeliak states, “Unequivocally, I knew nothing about this.” Nightengale notes that in order to conduct the interview, Mozeliak was required to have legal counsel conference into the call. (That lawyer, Mike Whittle, advised against responding to whether or not Mozeliak felt any sense of responsibility for the alleged actions.) “I don’t know the outcome of this, or where it’s going to go,” Mozeliak continued, “but our hope is that when everything comes to light, people will realize that it wasn’t something that was organizational-wide.”
According to Nightengale, the Cardinals were aware of the investigation months ago but had hoped that it would stay out of the media. “I was surprised it came out,” said Mozeliak. “Not that I would not want it to come out, but the way it did, and the manner it did, did catch us off guard. We are responding accordingly.”
2:12pm: The Cardinals have issued a press release regarding the FBI investigation into the involvement of club employees in a reported breach of the Astros’ internal computer system.
St. Louis says that the organization retained the St. Louis law firm Dowd Bennett to conduct an investigation of the matter when it was made aware of the allegations several months back. Attorney Jim Martin, a former U.S. Attorney and white collar litigator with the firm, said that inquiry has yet to be completed. He explained that his firm and the organization will “avoid saying anything which would interfere with the government’s investigation” in the interim.
“These are serious allegations that don’t reflect who we are as an organization,” said club chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. “We are committed to getting to the bottom of this matter as soon as possible, and if anyone within our organization is determined to be involved in anything inappropriate, they will be held accountable.”
GM John Mozeliak also made a statement in the release, saying that “the alleged conduct has no place in our game.” Mozeliak continued: “We hold ourselves to the highest standards in every facet of our organization. It has been that way forever and is certainly true today. We are committed to finding out what happened. To the extent we can substantiate that these allegations have merit, we will take appropriate action against anyone involved.”
From the Astros’ perspective, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reported today that Houston is holding out the possibility of a civil suit against those ultimately determined to have perpetrated the impermissible computer access. “The Astros think it’s very serious,” a source told him.
That report also indicates that the FBI has looked into several addresses from which the unlawful access may have occurred, including both a house located in Jupiter, Florida (the Cardinals’ spring home) and one in a state that doesn’t host a major league club. Click here to find other recent developments as of late last evening. You can find the first post on the Cardinals’ involvement here and the original story on the leaked Astros trade notes at this link.