First, there was Spygate. Then there was Deflategate Now, we’ve got Watchgate? Applegate? Take your pick.
According to a report from Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, the Boston Red Sox did, in fact, use Apple watches to steal signs from the New York Yankees and others.
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.
According to the report, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman filed a complaint more than two weeks ago, after the two teams played a series at Fenway Park. The Yankees provided video to MLB to back up their allegations.
“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, according to the people familiar with the case.”
Not only did investigators agree with the Yankees, but they got the Red Sox to admit that such a scheme had been underway for weeks, though supposedly neither manager John Farrell nor GM Dave Dombrowski was aware of what was going on.
Schmidt provided an example of how these tactics may have benefited Boston.
“In the first game of the series in question, the first time the Red Sox got a runner on second was Xander Bogaerts, in the second inning. Rafael Devers promptly hit a home run, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. The Red Sox went 5-for-8 in the first game when they had a man on second.”
With this news coming out, it may make Yankee fans wonder, did Devers know exactly what pitch was coming in that game? What about when he hit his devastating homer off of Aroldis Chapman at Yankee Stadium in mid-August?
Is the reason that the Sox are in first place because of their underhanded actions? We may never know. As you’d expect, the Red Sox have decided to point fingers at the Yankees, claiming that the Yanks have dedicated a YES Network camera to do nothing but steal signs from opposing catchers.
We’ll see if anything comes from those allegations.
The severity of their punishment, or if there will be any punishment is unknown at the moment, but two things are clear: All parties involved should keep a close eye on this sticky situation, and New England sports teams believe they’re above the rules of the game.