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Fmr. Houston Astros Video Manager Speaks Out on Cheating Scandal | The Astros Edge | FRONTLINE (PBS)
In an excerpt from the documentary "The Astros Edge: Triumph and Scandal in Major League Baseball," Antonio Padilla, then a video and advance information manager for the Houston Astros, describes receiving an unusual request to put a TV monitor below the dugouts roughly two months into the 2017 MLB season.
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The request came, Padilla says, from Alex Cora, then a bench coach for the Astros. Speaking out for the first time in the FRONTLINE documentary "The Astros Edge: Triumph and Scandal in Major League Baseball," Padilla says he initially thought the monitor would be used to see when innings were over or who was batting. But in truth, the monitor was a critical component of an illegal sign-stealing scheme that would become one of the most explosive scandals in modern baseball history.
“They would look at the TV monitor and then be able to see the signs of the catcher and then have some type of audible sound, or a bang on something, to relay that to the hitter — what type of pitch was coming,” Padilla says in the above excerpt from the documentary. “I mean instantly I knew it wasn’t right, but what was I gonna do? I was the lowest guy on the totem pole there. You know, if the coaches knew and the other players knew, then — you know, I’m just rolling with it.”
For the full story, watch "The Astros Edge," premiering on PBS and streaming platforms Oct. 3. -- the same date the MLB postseason begins. The documentary goes inside the making of one of the best teams and worst scandals in modern MLB history. Padilla left the Astros after the 2021 season. Cora was eventually suspended for a season stemming from the Astros’ cheating, which Cora apologized for. He and many of the other people involved in the 2017 cheating scandal are still involved in Major League Baseball.
"The Astros Edge" examines how the scandal played out, who was punished – and who wasn’t – and what it all means for the future of the game.
Explore additional reporting related to "The Astros Edge" on our website:
“The Astros Edge” is a FRONTLINE Production with Left/Right Docs. The director, producer and writer is Jonathan Clasberry. The producer is Quinton Boudwin. The producer and correspondent is Ben Reiter. The senior producer is Frank Koughan. The executive producers for Left/Right Docs are Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.
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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; Park Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.