The Yankees Tried To Rat Out The Red Sox For Doug Fister Wearing An Earpiece; The Only Problem Is That It Was A Mouthguard

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Listen, the Red Sox broke the rules. Not because they stole signs, but because they used technology to do it, which I thought was just flat out lazy.

Whether you want to come to this realization or not, or maybe you just weren’t aware — stealing signs is both LEGAL, and part of the game. Nowhere in the rulebook does it say that you can’t steal signs, and in case you don’t believe me, this was MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred yesterday after this story broke:

“We actually do not have a rule against sign-stealing. It has been a part of the game for a very, very long time. To the extent that there was a violation of the rule here, it was a violation by one or the other that involved the use of electronic equipment. It’s the electronic equipment that creates the violation. I think the rule against electronic equipment has a number of policy reasons behind it, but one of them is we don’t want to escalate attempts to figure out what a pitcher is going to throw by introducing electronics into that mix.”

Like Manfred said, it’s not that the Red Sox attempted to steal signs, it’s HOW the Red Sox attempted to steal signs. Social media will do its thing, and paint the Red Sox out to be this big, cheating organization now, but that’s honestly laughable. Every team steals signs. You reading this right now, if you’re a baseball fan, your favorite team has stolen signs and will continue to steal signs in the future. They’re probably just way smarter about doing it than the dumb fuckin’ Red Sox were. Where the Red Sox fucked up was by trying to think outside the box by using goddamn Apple Watches, which was completely unnecessary. In my opinion, the Red Sox were more stupid than wrong in this whole thing.

But I think the whole Yankees ratting the Red Sox out thing goes back a while. It’s pretty obvious, actually. Back in 2014, it was John Farrell who came out of the Red Sox dugout and brought it to the home plate umpire’s attention that Michael Pineda had globs of pine tar smeared on his neck. Baseball’s weird, because players don’t mind cheating, as long as you’re not blatant about it. Guys like AJ Pierzynski came out after the Pineda pine tar incident, and was like yeah, everyone does it, just don’t be an asshole about it.

“It’s one of those things that we all know that everyone does it,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “I’m all for it. You just can’t do it that blatantly. That’s it. Everyone has something. Catchers have pine tar on their shin guards all of the time. It’s not a big deal. As long as it’s not blatant, you’re not putting it out there for the whole world to see.”

Okay, so it’s only frowned upon if you do it out in the open, but doing it in general so long as nobody sees it is fine. Got it.

Anyways, so there was that incident in 2014, and then this past season, in an incident that didn’t get too much attention, Rick Porcello and Chase Headley got into a shouting match at Fenway Park because Porcello accused Headley of stealing signs.

This was really a nice game for Chase Headley, but his most memorable moment was a costly mistake and an emotional reaction. He reached base three times in this game, including two doubles, but when the second double seemed to get away from Jackie Bradley Jr., Headley broke for third. He was thrown out stretching, and after he was called out, Headley wound up in a shouting match with Red Sox starter Rick Porcello who, according to Girardi, accused Headley of trying to peek at the catcher to steal either signs or location at the plate.

I’m sure by now, you’re starting to notice a pattern here, which brings us to this season. The New York Times story yesterday, where the story buries the lead entirely in that the headline is all about how the Red Sox were using Apple Watches to steal signs, but yet the very same article also includes a line about how the “Red Sox responded in kind on Tuesday, filing a complaint against the Yankees, claiming that the team uses a camera from its television network, YES, exclusively to steal signs during games.” Weird how that hasn’t been getting the same attention as the Red Sox part of the story.


Finally, today we learned that the Yankees tattled to MLB about something else, too.

After Doug Fister’s outing Friday at Yankee Stadium in a 4-1 Red Sox win, the Yankees went to MLB with a complaint about what they thought to be an earpiece — some sort of impermissible audio device — that Fister was using, baseball sources with knowledge of the complaint told CSNNE. The purported audio device was a mouthguard that Fister was wearing wrapped around his ear.

Jesus Christ, man. Back in my day, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was ignited over Pedro Martinez putting Derek Jeter in the hospital with a fastball, hard slides into second base, fastballs up over guys’ heads, trash talking on the field, clutch hits and all-time classic performances. Now days, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is reignited because CC Sabathia is a fatass with a bum knee and it makes him upset when Red Sox hitters bunt against him, Apple Watches, and pitchers wearing mouthguards on their ears. It’s bananas.

On one hand, I’m glad that there’s finally some genuine animosity between these two teams again, but being little tattletales on each other wasn’t exactly how I envisioned the rivalry resurfacing, especially when both sides have great, young cores at the same time. Perhaps the tattle war is the spark that starts the fire, because baseball season is a billion times better when the Red Sox and Yankees actually hate each other, so please, God, let that hate trickle down from the front office tattletales to the players on the field.

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