MLB says the Astros were definitely not cheating

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Lance McCullers Jr. #43 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Jose Altuve #27 after grounding out to score Brian McCann #16 (not pictured) during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND  — Major League Baseball has closed its investigation into cheating allegations against the Astros in the American League Division Series with the Indians.

After MLB says it investigated  two incidents involving someone with the team using a cellphone to take photographs of the visiting dugouts in Cleveland and Boston during games this October.

But in a statement, it says they “consider the matter closed.”

The statement says their thorough investigation showed the person who was watching the Indians’ dugout was just making sure Cleveland was not cheating.

On Wednesday, two people familiar with the situation said the Astros attempted to get a second person next to the Indians’ dugout during Game 3 of the AL Division Series after another man was removed earlier by security for taking pictures with his cellphone.

The second person tried to gain access to the field photographer’s pit but was turned away, said the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

An unidentified man, who had been issued a credential before the Oct. 8 game in Cleveland, was removed from an area near Boston’s dugout for taking photos during Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday, according to a report by Metro Boston and Yahoo Sports.

The Red Sox had been warned before their series-opening game to look out for the man, the AP was told by the people.

The Indians, who were swept by Houston and eliminated in the first round for the second straight year, were concerned the man was attempting to view scouting reports Cleveland had on Houston’s players, one person said.

During the early innings in Game 3, the Indians became aware that the man standing near their dugout in Progressive Field was aiming his cellphone into their dugout and taking pictures.

He stood out because he was wearing a suit jacket in a restricted area reserved for photographers, a member of the team’s social media department and where TV reporters are permitted to stand, one of the sources said.

After being approached by security, the man left without incident but a second person attempted to replace him several innings later and was denied access to the field area, the AP was told.

The Indians entered the series concerned the Astros, who have been suspected of cheating in the past, had stolen some signs or had other useful information about them, one person said.

Following Game 3, Indians starter Mike Clevinger alluded to the Astros having an advantage. Clevinger allowed one run and three hits in five innings, but took the loss as the Indians were pounded 11-3.

**continuing coverage here**