Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Red Sox were warned that the Houston Astros could attempt to illegally steal their signs during the American League Championship Series, according to a report by Yahoo Sports.

And this is not the first time the defending World Series champions have been accused of circumventing the rules to intercept signs for a competitive advantage.

Jeff Passan wrote an article late Tuesday detailing how the Cleveland Indians tipped the Red Sox off about Houston’s alleged sign-stealing scheme after they were swept away by Houston in the American League Division Series.

According to Passan, the Indians warned the Red Sox about a man named Kyle McLaughlin, an apparent Astros employee, who was caught taking photos of the Indians dugout in Game 3 of the ALDS.

McLaughlin is said to be the same man who was discovered by security at Fenway Park with a camera in a credentialed area near the Red Sox dugout during Game 1 of the ALCS.

Major League Baseball apparently took the issue seriously enough to take extra precautions ahead of Game 3 of the ALCS in Houston.

“MLB significantly beefed up its security presence at Game 3 on Tuesday, according to a league source with knowledge of its staff, sending three people from its baseball-operations office and another six security personnel to monitor the game,” Passan wrote. “The league stationed an employee in each of the teams’ video-review rooms, according to the source.”

Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) connects for a run scoring double in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox and Indians may not have been the first targets of a sign-stealing effort. According to Passan, the Astros were the subject of a league investigation earlier this year.

“During a late-August game against Oakland, A’s players noticed Astros players clapping in the dugout before pitches and believed they were relaying stolen signs to pitchers in the batter’s box, sources said. The A’s called the league, which said it would investigate the matter. It’s unclear what the result of the investigation was or whether it remains ongoing.”

“Two major league players said they have witnessed the Astros hitting a trash can in the dugout in recent years and believe it is a way to relay signals to hitters. The Los Angeles Dodgers also believed the Astros were stealing signs during the World Series last season, according to two sources.”

Up until now, the league has found no evidence of any wrongdoing have the Astros have not faced any sanctions.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.