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There’s a camera in center field that Houston Cheated Trash-Town 2017 Chumps shirt, among other things, looks right in on the signs the catcher is giving the pitcher. Both teams are allowed to have access to that camera feed for replay review, but its use is supposed to be confined to looking at plays in a specific replay booth to decide whether to challenge (at which point the booth would call the manager to formally issue the challenge.
The Astros plan evolved through Houston Cheated Trash-Town 2017 Chumps shirt two stages. In the first version of the plan, the replay booth simply worked out what the other team’s signs were (which fingers for which pitch, if there was an “indicator” sign, etc.) and gave that to the dugout, and runners on second would go out there pre-armed with knowledge they would otherwise have to figure out. It still only worked when there was a runner on second, and the runner on second would still have to relay that info to the batter. That version of the plan was almost legal — the video guy was doing some of the initial legwork of decoding the signs, but most of the heavy lifting was still done on the field, in the moment.