Houston Matters

When Did The Astros Beat Their Trash Can? One Fan Transformed His Grief Into Data

Longtime fan Tony Adams pored through footage of the 2017 season, logged every trash can bang her could hear, and published the data on an interactive website.

Carlos Beltran batting
Carlos Beltran bats for the Astros at Minute Maid Park during the 2017 regular season.

After Hurricane Harvey forced Tony Adams from his home in 2017, he needed an emotional lift – and got it watching his beloved Astros win the World Series.

The electronic sign-stealing scandal, revealed in recent weeks, has been a body blow to this lifelong fan.

So, frustrated by the revelations that the organization and a number of its players cheated, Adams – a graphic designer and web developer by trade – poured his anger into research.

Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman, left, and teammate Jose Altuve sit in chairs as they wait to deliver statements during a news conference before the start of the first official spring training baseball practice for the team Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

He spent more than 30 hours in the weeks since the scandal watching video, and compiling data on when the now infamous trashcan beating used at Astros games to signal pitches to batters could be heard.

Once compiled, he published it all, creating the website signstealingscandal.com, where you can see what he found, game by game, and batter by batter.

Sign Stealing Scandal Site
Longtime Astros fan Tony Adams put together the website signstealingscandal.com, which details when trash cans were banged during most of the team’s 2017 regular season home games.

In the audio above, Adams tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty why he wanted to spend time digging into this, what his research revealed, and how the cheating scandal has affected how he feels about his team.

Tony Adams - Sign Stealing Scandal
Longtime Astros fan Tony Adams pored through video footage of 2017 regular season games at Minute Maid Park to determine when the Astros’ trash can banging scheme was being utilized and during which batters. He compiled the data on his the website signstealingcandal.com.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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