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St. Louis Cardinals may have hacked baseball rival Houston Astros, report says

Technically Incorrect: Officials of the Cardinals, one of baseball's most consistently successful teams, have reportedly been subpoenaed for allegedly using nefarious means to get player information.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The storied Cardinals behaving badly? Fox Sports/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

And now hacking takes on a new meaning in baseball.

Once "Moneyball" came along and nerds began to run baseball teams, you wondered how soon it would be before this sort of accusation would be laid.

It emerged on Tuesday, you see, that one famous baseball team was being investigated for allegedly hacking another.

Officials at the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most consistently successful teams in recent memory, are under suspicion of having peered into the computer systems of the Houston Astros in order to uncover information about players, according to the New York Times.

The Astros, who had been in desperate straits for many seasons, this year lead their division, with a number of young players finally coming into their own. The two teams had played against each other in the National League for years, until 2013 when the Astros moved to the American League.

The Times says that the Astros' databases -- which included talk about trades, scouting reports and other player stats -- may have been accessed by Cardinals' execs.

The FBI and the Justice Department are said to be investigating and subpoenas have reportedly been served.

A spokeswoman for the Houston office of the FBI wouldn't confirm or deny the existence of the investigation. However, she offered: "The FBI aggressively investigates all potential threats to public and private sector systems. Once our investigations are complete, we pursue all appropriate avenues to hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."

I have also contacted the DOJ and both the Astros and the Cardinals for comment and will update further, should I hear.

A spokesman for the commissioner's office for Major League Baseball told the Times that it "has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros' baseball operations database."

As to how the alleged hack might have happened, suspicion has been pointed toward the fact that the Astros general manager, Jeff Luhnow, used to work for the Cardinals. The suggestion is that unknown officials at the Cardinals may have turned to master passwords used during Luhnow's time with the Cards to access the Houston database.

Public accusations of cheating have become quite a popular activity in sports lately. The New England Patriots were accused of improperly deflating footballs before last season's AFC Championship game. Even using science as their defense, they failed to escape punishment.

Corporate computer systems have, however, proved to be vulnerable in seemingly every sphere of business. There's no reason why that wouldn't be the case in sports as well.

Whatever the reasons for any alleged hacking -- business, personal or both -- this might make every sports team seeking to get the slightest edge on an opponent to double-check their systems before it's too late.

Your computer system is a player too.

Update 1:34 p.m. PT: Added comment from the FBI.