Two weeks ago, after the Yankees just finished up beating the Red Sox, an article was posed in the New York Times about how the Red Sox were seen using Apple Watches to gain a competitive advantage by stealing signs using the said watch. Major League Baseball is still evaluating their decision on what punishment the Red Sox will receive if any.
Photo Credit: CNet
The Yankees claimed they had video footage of the Red Sox using Apple Watches in the dugout to allegedly steal signs. The whole idea of this just seems silly to me. It would not be very time efficient for the Red Sox to learn a hand signal, then see the hand signal, relay it back to the dugout, then one of the Red Sox dugout officials sends it to all players via an Apple Watch! By the time this all happens, the game would be over.
As silly as this seems, and is a total Yankee move, especially this year as they can’t catch Boston. This type of thing has been happening for a long time. The technology teams are using to steal signs is evolving but the age-old practice of stealing signs, and teams trying whatever they can to get a leg up on their competition lives on.
The Red Sox contest, much like the rest of the MLB, that every team in baseball is using some sort of sign stealing. Boston was also able to produce video of the Yankees bullpen watching an ipad video of hitters and pitchers in the bullpen. Who is to say that the Yankees also were not stealing signs, or trying to find any little quirk they could find that would potentially make these hitters easier to get out.
Suggesting that the pitchers in the MLB need any more help getting hitters out. Most of the pitchers coming out of the bullpen are already throwing mid to high 90’s, and the hitting is clearly behind the pitching for most teams. The hitters in mostly all situations can use all the help they can get, whether that equates to sign being stolen, or a player or team representative picking up a pitcher tipping something, any little nuance that a hitter can focus on, that could be the only thing they need to get a hit.
As we all wait to see what punishment the MLB will level on the Red Sox, it’s hard to think that Boston will have to forfeit any wins, especially for something this minor. The Red Sox will probably receive a fine and that will be all. The Yankees and Red Sox rivalry will continue to be the greatest rivalry in professional sports. The Apple Watch scandal will be swept under the rug when real baseball is being played in October, and everyone will look back and determine how overblown this whole thing actually was.