Houston Astros employee photographed opposing teams to monitor cheating, MLB found

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Major League Baseball said it has cleared the Houston Astros of cheating during the postseason after reports came out that the team had a photographer monitoring opposing clubs.

In a statement released Wednesday before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, the league explained the Astros positioned the club employee to monitor whether their opponents were committing wrongdoing themselves.

"A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules," MLB said in a statement, adding that it considers the matter closed.

There was no mention of any punishment being levied against the Astros.

Reports surfaced this week regarding the Astros positioning a photographer while the team was at opposing ballparks in Cleveland and Boston during the Division and League Championship series, respectively.

SEE MORE: AP source: Houston Astros accused of filming in opponents' dugout during ALDS and ALCS

In both cases, the employee was removed by stadium security.

"With respect to both incidents regarding a Houston Astros employee, security identified an issue, addressed it and turned the matter over to the Department of Investigations," MLB said in its statement.

The league statement prefaced that all postseason clubs had levied concerns about sign stealing and the inappropriate use of video equipment.

"The concerns expressed related to a number of Clubs, not any one specific Club. In response to these calls, the Commissioner's Office reinforced the existing rules with all playoff Clubs and undertook proactive measures, including instituting a new prohibition on the use of certain in-stadium cameras, increasing the presence of operations and security personnel from Major League Baseball at all Postseason games and instituting a program of monitoring Club video rooms," the league said.

MLB continued, "All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution."

After MLB's ruling, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow explained the abundance of high-tech equipment across opposing ballparks prompts the club to "take a look around."

"Most of the time we think we see something suspicious. We look into it and it's a fan doing something. ... But every once in a while - and there have been multiple instances of us identifying suspicious activity and (we've) reported it to MLB," Luhnow said. "We feel like it's a value added thing for us to do."

However, Luhnow conceded that if the club sees anything suspicious, it will report it to MLB going forward.

"We were playing defense. We were not playing offense. And we want to make sure it's a level playing field," Luhnow concluded.
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