BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox have received a slap on the wrist from Major League Baseball for using an electronic device to steal signs from the New York Yankees.
The team was fined an undisclosed amount by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Friday. The funds will be donated by the commissioner’s office to hurricane relief efforts in Florida.
The Yankees accused the Red Sox of using an Apple Watch in the dugout as a means of relaying information to players in the dugout regarding the Yankees’ signs. The sign-stealing spat was first reported by the New York Times on September 5.
MLB investigated the claims with video and “corroborated the Yankees’ claims.”
“The video provided to the commissioner’s office by the Yankees was captured during the first two games of the series [from Aug. 18-20] and included at least three clips,” the report, written by Michael S. Schmidt, stated. “In the clips, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to [Chris] Young.”
The Red Sox in turn accused the Yankees of some funny business. While an MLB investigation found insufficient evidence of Boston’s accusation that the Yankees used YES Network cameras to gain an unfair advantage, it uncovered a different violation and the Yankees were hit with a lesser fine on Friday.
“In the course of our investigation, however, we learned that during an earlier championship season (prior to 2017) the Yankees had violated a rule governing the use of the dugout phone,” Manfred wrote in a release. “No Club complained about the conduct in question at the time and, without prompting from another Club or my Office, the Yankees halted the conduct in question. Moreover, the substance of the communications that took place on the dugout phone was not a violation of any Rule or Regulation in and of itself. Rather, the violation occurred because the dugout phone technically cannot be used for such a communication.”
Manfred also added that all 30 MLB teams have been notified that future violations like this will be “subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.” You can read Manfred’s full press release here.
Stealing signs on the field has long been a part of baseball, but the involvement of technology has always been considered as being a step over the line.