In all of American sports, there is probably no rivalry, no blood feud, no long-running battle of antagonism like that which exists between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
Even the casual baseball fan has heard of the Curse of the Bambino. But, there is also Bucky “Bleeping” Dent. And Red Sox owner John Henry calling the Yankees an “evil empire.” You have Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand. And then, the cream of the crop, the Red Sox coming back from a 3 games-to-none deficit to win four straight and beat the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series. (Skip ahead to the 5:15 mark to re-live the glory of the Yankees’ collapse.)
Yes, there are a lot of memorable instances in more than a century of Red Sox-Yankees baseball. Now, you can add Watchgate to the mix.
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MLB investigators say there is ample evidence to prove that the Red Sox used Apple Watches to steal the hand signals Yankee catchers used during a three-game set between the teams in Boston last month. The investigators say a member of the Red Sox training staff used an Apple Watch as part of an effort to send messages to players in the Red Sox dugout. Those players then would send some kind of signal to players on the field to let them in on what kind of pitch the Yankees pitchers were about to throw.
The Yankees shot video of the Red Sox dugout during the games, and used that as part of a complaint that New York General Manager Brian Cashman filed with Major League Baseball. The New York Times reported that when confronted with the charges, the Red Sox “admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to Red Sox players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.”
Stealing signs falls into a grey area of baseball that is quasi-illegal. It is commonplace for runners on second base, in particular, to try to discern what a pitcher might be about to throw by watching the hand signals of the opposing team’s catcher. However, the players are not allowed to use any kind of electronics on the field, or even binoculars, to steal signs.
The Red Sox responded to the Yankees claims by saying New York uses a camera from its own YES broadcasting network to steal signs. The Yankees have denied those charges.
MLB is still working through its investigation and it will be several days, if not weeks, before any punishments are levied.
Meanwhile, Apple is still scheduled to hold an event in Cupertino next Monday. With the company being known for its near-paranoid level of security, maybe Apple will want to check attendees Apple Watches, and other gadgets at the door, lest any news get out before Apple deems its worthy.
Photo: New York Yankees designated hitter Matt Holliday (17) is out at second base as Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia attempts to get the double play during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept.3, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Tags: Apple, Apple Watch, baseball, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees