When we discuss The Sign Stealing Scandal in Major League Baseball, much of the attention is on the Houston Astros, specifically, in 2017. Not to be forgotten, though, are the 2018 Red Sox, who were punished less heavily by MLB, but punished nonetheless.
A then-Red Sox employee who was punished was video replay coordinator J.T. Watkins. He now works for the Dodgers and was recently profiled by the Los Angeles Times. Within the article, Mookie Betts, who obviously played for the 2018 Red Sox and is now with the Dodgers, answered some questions on 2018.
On if he knew the Red Sox were using live video feeds to steal signs, which was illegal:
"Yeah," Betts said Sunday, "everybody was."
It should be noted that the Red Sox were only found to have used the live video feeds during the regular season and not the playoffs or, specifically, the World Series when they beat the Dodgers in five games.
Regarding if the Red Sox used the live video often in the regular season:
"Every now and …" Betts started to say. "It's kind of hard to remember."
So this wasn't a daily practice?
"No!" Betts said with a smile. "This is what I'm trying to say. People are trying to make it like we're cheating. Give us credit. We had a good team. Give us some credit. We had Cy Young winners. We had MVPs. We had Gold Glove winners. We had Silver Sluggers. We had all that. Take that into account."
It's true. They were great. Mookie himself was the MVP. Rick Porcello and David Price were Cy Young winners. They won 108 games in the regular season and never even faced elimination in the playoffs, making them the single most dominant team in recent memory.
It's also noted, in the article, that Betts and some other 2018 Red Sox players donated money to Watkins during his unpaid suspension.
"We all chipped in because he did so much for us," Betts said. "The perception is, 'Oh, we gave him money because ...' No. He's very good at his job. He was the one up at 3 o'clock in the morning, scouting, making sure of everything we needed to do."
Much of the continuing interest in the sign-stealing scandal revolves around the release of a book, "Winning Fixes Everything" by Evan Drellich of The Athletic. It touches on those Astros and Red Sox teams in addition to sign-stealing allegations against other teams, including the Dodgers and Yankees.