The Yankees and Red Sox don't face each other again the rest of the regular season, but it's fair to say the rivalry seems a lot spicier than before in light of the news Tuesday. Major League Baseball has found that the Red Sox were using an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees back in August in Fenway Park, reports the New York Times.
The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers' signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown when they were hitting, according to the people familiar with the case.
Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees' claims based on video the commissioner's office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner's office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players -- an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.
The full story in the Times has much more detail and is recommended reading for anyone interested. It's thorough.
Basically, the trainer would see the sign on his watch, signal something to a runner on second base and then that runner signals to the batter what pitch is coming. It has to happen fast, but it's possible to work. The series in question was Aug. 18-20 in Fenway Park. The Red Sox were 5 for 8 -- including a two-run homer by Rafael Devers -- with a runner on second base in the first game of that series.
The Times report indicates the Red Sox have countered with a complaint against, you guessed it, the Yankees. The Red Sox side says that the Yankees use a camera from YES Network to steal signs.
Stealing signs via electronic devices (or with any other help like binoculars) is illegal, so commissioner Rob Manfred has his hands full here in deciding a punishment. It seems likely that the organization will be significantly fined and perhaps there will be some penalty when it comes to draft picks, but some people won't view that as harsh enough.
Consider this developing, because not only do we wait on Manfred's office to confirm the report and then punish the Red Sox, but they are likely now investigating if the Red Sox claim of the Yankees' sign-stealing operation is true as well.