I had pretty much forgotten that we were still waiting for whatever sanction Commissioner Rob Manfred was going to drop on the St. Louis Cardinals for hacking into the Houston Astros data base of scouting reports, evaluations and draft planning.
The federal court last week unsealed much of the information from the criminal case against Christopher Correa, the former Cardinals scouting director who did the hacking. And with that information in hand, Manfred finally acted Monday.
The punishment levied on the organization is noteworthy but not overwhelming. The Cardinals lose their top two remaining picks in the 2017 draft (second round, 56th overall, and a compensation second rounder, 75th overall), and they've been ordered to pay the Astros $2 million. which ,,, well, that's a lot to you and me, but not enough to pay a veteran relief pitcher.
As one of the Baseball America scribes said on Twitter, the Red Sox got slapped harder by Manfred for playing fast and loose with the rules regarding international bonuses.
Which brings to mind a concern I voiced early on in this scandal: The St. Louis owners were very much in Manfred's corner when he was chosen to follow Bud Selig as commissioner. The Red Sox ownership was the most obvious opponent. Manfred's actions carry the possibility of being influenced by internal politics.
Certainly the punishment levied on the Cardinals is not so stout as to give a corrupt front office the willies. But the fact that Correa is serving 46 months in a federal prison might. (Correa is permanantly banned from working in baseball.)