MLB finds Boston Red Sox used Apple Watch to steal signs but has no plans to change rules

“While the Boston Red Sox have been caught using an Apple Watch in an effort to steal signs from opponents, don’t expect any changes to Major League Baseball’s policy on technology in the dugouts or how it is enforced, according to senior executives with the league,” Maury Brown reports for Forbes. “On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Brian Cashman, the general manager of the New York Yankees, made the league aware of use of the technology to garner information on what signals catchers were using for particular pitches, that was then relayed to batters in an effort to gain an advantage.”

“According to the league, they see this use of technology as a limited case and Commissioner Manfred is in the midst of examining course of discipline,” Brown reports. “As part of the latest labor agreement between the players and league, a letter memorializing the use of smart devices outlines how, when, and where they can be used.”

“The league agreed with the players that the use of smart devices could be used in the dugouts during ‘Spring Training, the [regular] season, the All- Star Game, and/or the post-season,'” Brown reports. Adding that, ‘Use of Club-issued or other mobile devices should not disrupt game activity or players who are playing in the game,’ which would clearly include using devices to communicate stealing of signs. Players are allowed to have smart devices in the dugout 30 minutes prior to games, but not during.”

Apple Watch Nike+ with with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters
Apple Watch Nike+ with with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Stealing” signs sounds bad, but it’s part of the game. Stealing signs between catcher and pitcher is as old as the baseball signs themselves. As with many things, using an Apple Watch just makes the activity more efficient.

Manfred seems to understand this very well:

“We will conduct a thorough investigation on both sides. We’re 100 percent comfortable that it is not an ongoing issue… Could [punishment] happen? You know, is there the authority to do that? I think the answer to that, under the major league constitution, is yes. Has it ever happened with this type of allegation? I think the answer is, I know the answer is no.” — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, September 5, 2017

Boston Red Sox used Apple Watches to steal signs against New York Yankees – September 5, 2017


    1. Tim Cook, the Sox are cheating using Apple Watch. Is that OK with you.

      Tim Cook: Yep.

      But it’s OK for progressives to sue gun manufactures for crimes committed by criminals using guns?

      Tim Cook: Uh….can I get back to you later?

  1. It’s already against the rules to use devices other than your eyeballs to steal or relay signs. Manfred is a wimp’s wimp (even worse than previous commissioners) so nothing is going to happen.

    Since it’s the two most influential franchises MLB will sit idly by. The M in MLB is for Money

  2. Like most people who aren’t American, I have no interest in baseball and don’t align with either team in this scandal, but it’s a sad observation that so many professional sportsmen in so many sports no longer think it’s necessary to act in a sporting manner. Cheating is regarded as perfectly acceptable so long as you can get away with it.

    Whatever happened to that old fashioned concept of honestly being better at your sport than your opponent?

    Obviously participants try to do everything to optimise their performance, but just as with those athletes taking performance enhancing drugs, this is cheating and is very much against the spirit of the rules.

    1. It’s a bit odd to turn this into a “good ole days” kind of thing. Cheating has been rampant throughout human endeavors since humans have been, well, human.
      Perhaps we’re just better at catching cheaters. Or, perhaps cheating is easier than it used to be because the available cheating methods have become so complex. That might lower the barrier to entry for a potential cheater.
      I don’t think people in the “good ole days” were necessarily more sporting or moral. The conditions may change, but human nature mostly stays the same.

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