Spying on other Major League Baseball teams for decades has been part of gamesmanship equal to the brushback pitches and sliding hard.
However, the Boston Red Sox modernized it through using an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees as well as other clubs.
MLB investigators have determined Boston, who sits in first in the American League East, and likely will reach the playoffs, carried out a scheme to steal hand signals of its opponents’ catchers during games against the Yankees as well as other teams, said a number of people familiar with the situation.
An inquiry was started by MLB two weeks ago, when Brian Cashman the general manager of the Yankees filed a complaint with baseball’s commissioner’s office that included video that the Yankees shot of the dugout of the Red Sox during a series between the two teams last month in Boston.
New York, who has been suspicious for some time that Boston was stealing its catchers’ signs at Fenway, contended that the video showed a training staff member of the Red Sox looking at the Apple Watch on his wrist inside the dugout.
The trainer then apparently relayed messages to other Red Sox players, who then would signal teammates playing about what the pitch thrown next.
MLB investigators have corroborated the claims made by the Yankees based upon video the office of the commissioner used for broadcasts and instant replay, said sources.
The commissioner’s office confronted Boston about this and the Red Sox admitted that trainers had received signals through video replay personnel and relayed the information to players on the team, an operation that has been ongoing for several weeks.
On Tuesday, the Red Sox filed their own complaint against New York claiming the Yankees use a camera of the YES television network to exclusively steal opposing teams’ signs during their games, which the Yankees have denied.
It is not clear what the penalties will be, if any, the Commissioner will issue against Boston, or if he will ask for a more thorough investigation to determine to what extent the sign-stealing system of the Red Sox has become.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said that a thorough investigation would be carried out on both teams and was 100% comfortable the issue is not ongoing. He added that he believes he has the power to discipline teams that carry out such cheating.