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The Houston Astros sign stealing scandal resulted from a series of rule violations by members of the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball, who usedThe Houston Astros sign stealing scandal resulted from a series of rule violations by members of the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball, who used technology to steal signs of opposing teams during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. For years, some individuals on other teams had suspected the Astros of stealing signs, but there was no public reporting on the subject until November 2019, when reporters Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich at The Athletic published an article detailing the team's activities. Mike Fiers, a pitcher who played for the Astros in 2017, told The Athletic that the organization used a video camera in the center field seats to film the opposing catcher's signals to the pitcher regarding the next pitch. Astros players or team staffers watching the live camera feed behind the dugout used various audio cues, such as banging on a trash can, to signal to the batter what type of pitch was coming next. MLB investigated the allegations and confirmed in January 2020 that the Astros illegally used a camera system to steal signs during the 2017 regular season and postseason, during which they won the World Series, as well as in part of the 2018 season. MLB found no evidence of illicit sign stealing in the 2019 season, in which the Astros advanced to the World Series, but lost in seven games to the Washington Nationals. As a result, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager A. J. Hinch were suspended for the entire 2020 season for failing to prevent the rule violations. The Astros were fined the maximum allowable $5 million and forfeited their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts. No players were punished because they had been given immunity by MLB in exchange for their cooperation. The Astros subsequently fired both Luhnow and Hinch on the day their suspensions were announced. MLB's investigation also determined that Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora helped mastermind the Astros' sign stealing while serving as Hinch's bench coach in 2017. The Red Sox and Cora mutually parted ways the following day and MLB suspended him through the 2020 postseason, although the Red Sox rehired Cora after his suspension ended. Carlos Beltrán was the only Astros player from 2017 who was specifically named in the report; he had been hired to manage the New York Mets in November 2019 but parted ways with the team after the results of MLB's investigation were announced. The sanctions against the Astros were the most severe that MLB has ever issued against a member club, and are among the most severe sanctions for in-game misconduct in baseball history. A Wall Street Journal article published a few weeks after the MLB report described previously unknown details about the sign stealing operation and reported that it originated during the 2016 season, a broader scope than reported by MLB. After the scandal broke, players on the 2017 Astros apologized to varying degrees. The team's actions were heavily criticized by players on other MLB teams. The scandal dominated the 2019–2020 offseason and the start of 2020 spring training. The scandal also led to lawsuits against the Astros and MLB.
The New York Mets are a major league baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as aThe New York Mets are a major league baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the American League's (AL) New York Yankees. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed NL teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. The team's colors evoke the blue of the Dodgers and the orange of the Giants.For the 1962 and 1963 seasons, the Mets played home games at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan before moving to Queens. From 1964 to 2008, the Mets played their home games at Shea Stadium, named after William Shea, the founder of the Continental League, a proposed third major league, the announcement of which prompted their admission as an NL expansion team. Since 2009, the Mets have played their home games at Citi Field next to the site where Shea Stadium once stood. In their inaugural season, the Mets posted a record of 40–120, the worst regular-season record since MLB went to a 162-game schedule. The team never finished better than second-to-last in the 1960s until the "Miracle Mets" beat the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series, considered one of the biggest upsets in World Series history despite the Mets having won 100 games that season. The Mets have qualified for the postseason nine times, winning the World Series twice (1969 and 1986) and winning five National League pennants (most recently in 2000 and 2015). Since 2020, the Mets have been owned by billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen who purchased the team for $2.4 billion.As of the end of the 2021 season, the team's overall win-loss record is 4,551–4,927 (.480).