Breaking News: The Red Sox Were Caught Cheating Against The Yankees
WASHINGTON — For decades, spying on another team has been as much a part of the gamesmanship of baseball as brushback pitches and hard slides. The Red Sox have apparently added a modern — and illicit — twist: They used an Apple Watch to gain an advantage against the Yankees and other teams.
Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.
The baseball inquiry began about two weeks ago, after the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner’s office that included video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.
The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown when they were hitting, according to the people familiar with the case.
Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees’ claims based on video the commissioner’s office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.
Classic Boston to try and find new ways to cheat. When they aren’t taping practices or deflating footballs, they are stealing signs. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if you steal signs the old-fashioned way. But using Apple Watches and video replay is scumbag stuff. If a pitcher is tipping off his pitches or a catcher is getting sloppy with his signs, make him pay. But if you’re from Boston you should be ashamed of this. A fan base of “blue collar, salt of the earth” fans cheering for a team that would go to these lengths is honestly just sad.
For Rob Manfred, this is a tough situation because while the evidence is there and the Red Sox are owning up to some of this, you can’t take away wins. There just isn’t a precedent out there to take wins away from a team for cheating whether it be for stealing signs or using players that were using illegal substances, so wins won’t be erased. Instead the Red Sox are likely to face a fine, loss of draft picks and maybe some international pool money. All things that don’t get the Yankees back the games the Boston stole from them or other teams over the last few weeks. It’s not fair, but neither
One thing that would be interesting to me, but probably wouldn’t happen, would be the loss of home games in the playoffs. It’s a little out there, but if the Red Sox make it to a 5-game series, what if they only hosted 1 game? Since the 2017 Red Sox cheated, why not stack the deck against the 2017 Red Sox? Fines and draft picks hurt the franchise in the future, but what if they win the World Series, or if this stunt costs another team the chance to win a World Series? I’m sure the CBA prevents something like this and Manfred doesn’t have supreme power like Goodell. But I would like to see this team pay, even if it’s suspensions for the players involved.
PS: Credit to me for not pointing out how racist Boston is during this blog. It takes a big man to ignore that.