If you have even a passing interest in baseball you will know that the New York Yankees busted the Boston Red Sox in a hi-tech cheating scandal. As reported in the New York Post, the Yankees claimed that the Red Sox were using an Apple watch to steal their team signs, thereby giving them an unfair advantage. It appears that the Red Sox were outside of MLB rules even if they were not using technology to steal team signs.
Red Sox trainer Jon Jochim was in breach of MLB rules even if the team was not using the technology to steal Yankees secrets. MLB officials visited all 30 spring training camps to reinforce the rules about using electronic technology in team dugouts. It was made clear that Apple watches are considered to be outside rules that allow only league-issued iPads. Those devices have limitations and cannot be connected to the internet.
To round up the allegations, the Yankees sent video to the MLB Commissioners Office that showed Jochim looking at his Apple watch and then relaying information onto the field. They claim this enabled Red Sox hitters to anticipate what was coming from Yankees pitchers.
Interestingly, according to TMZ Sport, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was not overly concerned about the allegations of cheating by the Red Sox. Manfred suggested the cheating allegations are a reflection of the competitive nature of the game.
“Look, I think it’s a reflection of competitive activity between two clubs. I’m sure we’ll investigate and reach a resolution that preserves the integrity of the game.”
Red Sox Claim The Yankees Were Also ‘Cheating’
According to ESPN, the Red Sox have sent information to the MLB Commissioners Office that suggests that the Yankees used video cameras to interpret signs from Red Sox coach Gary DiSarcina. The Red Sox claim that the Yankees were also stealing signs to give them a competitive advantage.
Perhaps the irony in these allegations is that many sports openly use technology to legally exploit the strengths and weaknesses of their opposition. Watch any game of football, soccer, rugby or cricket and you will see banks of computers used by team officials to analyze the game. That information is used to develop team tactics to counter opposition strengths and exploit their weaknesses to gain a competitive advantage.
Perhaps it’s time for MLB to embrace the use of technology. This is, after all, top class sport and the skill of the players is paramount. If everyone has the opportunity to use technology to advise players, then we have a level playing field. It is only when one team uses technology, and the other does not, that things become unfair. Ultimately it is the skill of the players on the field who will determine the outcome of a game.
Perhaps the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have highlighted an issue that would be easily resolved by allowing all MLB teams to embrace the use of technology in all aspects of the game.
[Featured Image by Winslow Townson/AP Images]