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Boston Red Sox finally found a use for the Apple Watch: Stealing signals during games

Published Sep 5th, 2017 4:44PM EDT
Red Sox signal stealing with an Apple Watch
Image: Vogel/AP/REX/Shutterstock

In possibly the most important piece of tech reporting to be published in 2017, the New York Times has discovered that the Boston Red Sox have been stealing catcher signals from the Yankees — and used an Apple Watch to do it.

“Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox…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.”

Apparently, the Red Sox had video review teams watching the opponent’s catchers for signals. As they decoded the signals, they’d send a message via an Apple Watch to a member of staff in the dugout. He’d then relay a message to players on the field, who’d end up knowing what kind of pitch was going to be thrown before it happened.

The Times reports that Red Sox personnel admitted to the cheating when confronted by the baseball commissioner’s investigators, and confirmed that the scheme had been in place “for several weeks.”

The Red Sox are apparently claiming that they’re not the only bad apple, though. “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.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball have not commented on the report, or made clear what kind of penalties the Red Sox (or any other team) can expect to face.

Following in the wake of Deflategate, it’s a bad marker for the city of Boston and for the reputation of New England’s pro sports teams. All that’s left is for the Bruins to get caught putting sand in the Habs’ skates for the entire city to spent the rest of 2017 hiding in shame.