A scouting report is usually enough intel for most teams to gain an edge. But FBI and Justice Department prosecutors have reason to believe that the St. Louis Cardinals might have taken it a step further.

The two departments are investigating the Cardinals to determine whether they hacked into the internal networks of the Houston Astros to learn about their player personnel. The New York Times is reporting that investigators believe they have enough evidence to show that the Cardinals broke into the Astros' network to infiltrate internal communication about Houston's scouting reports and possible trades. 

This would easily mark the first known case of one major sports team hacking into the network of another.

Although no employees' names are mentioned in the report, prosecutors told the Times they believe the hacking was conducted by spiteful Cardinals front-office employees, seeking to smear the work of former Cards' exec and current Astros general manager, Jeff Luhnow.

When Luhnow was with the Cardinals, he operated under a database called Redbird. When he left the organization, the Cardinals built a program called Ground Control. Investigators told the Times they believe Cardinals officials referred to a master list of passwords and used them to gain access to the Astros' network.

The Cardinals' top brass has been made aware of this investigation and subpoenas have been served to both the ball club and Major League Baseball.

"[The MLB] has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros' baseball operations database," wrote a spokesman for baseball Commissioner Rob Mansfred, in a statement to the Times.

There's currently no telling how long the Cardinals allegedly hacked into the Astros' network, but what's clear is that the Cards currently have the best record in the Majors at 42-21 and are second in total World Series titles to only the New York Yankees. 

It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

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