BOSTON (CBS) — The report of the Red Sox’ use of an Apple Watch to steal signals from the Yankees sent shockwaves throughout the baseball world on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving many to wonder not just whether the Red Sox’ punishment would be big, but how big the punishment would be.
Those expecting something strong may be left disappointed.
Multiple reports on Tuesday and Wednesday indicate it’s “possible” that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will hand down suspensions and fines to Red Sox players and/or staff for their roles in the sign-stealing scheme, which involved the unauthorized use of an electronic device in the dugout. ESPN’s Buster Olney was told it’s “highly unlikely” that Manfred would dock the Red Sox draft picks.
Another baseball source indicated to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham that the Red Sox’ punishment would be the proverbial “slap on the wrist” – an ironic description considering that the violation stems from the use of a high-tech wristwatch.
Olney later opined in his Wednesday column that the Red Sox’ use of an Apple Watch was like “sign-stealing on steroids” and that Manfred would only deter teams from committing similar violations if he would “come down hard” on the Red Sox. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman suggested on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday that he feels the commissioner should forfeit “all the games” that the Red Sox have won against the Yankees this season, which would be an unprecedented punishment.
The Red Sox may have saved themselves from Manfred dropping the hammer on them since they admitted wrongdoing and were fully cooperative with baseball’s investigation. But it’s possible that, as a result of the transgression, some of the team’s key personnel will miss some important games down the stretch.