Major League Baseball meted out punishment for the scandal involving the Red Sox's use of Apple Watches to steal signs from the Yankees, among other teams. If you were expecting baseball to lay the hammer down on Boston, then you were probably disappointed by the news that came out yesterday. The Red Sox were reportedly fined an undisclosed amount, and the Yankees were also fined when it turned out that they were using footage from the YES Network to swipe signs.
Both teams managed to escape major punishment, but that came with the caveat that any future transgressions of a similar manner would result in stiffer punishment for the offenders. Still, that wasn't enough for people like ESPN's Buster Olney. The baseball columnist for the four-letter network described the punishment as "toothless" and also accused Commissioner Rob Manfred of "providing cover" to the Red Sox by fining the Yankees as well. Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports went as far to say that if he was calling the shots, he would've had the Red Sox forfeit all of their games against the Yankees.
The latter punishment was never going to happen, and there was always a chance that the punishment would be light when compared to other instances of cheating -- both in baseball and in other sports. Still, it is a little bit shocking that the Red Sox got away with only having to pay a fine. I don't think that anybody was expecting a punishment that would result in the two parties arguing about the punishment in court for a couple of years like their football-playing friends in Foxborough did with the NFL, but we also didn't expect something as light as this. Still, here's hoping that the threat of a stiffer punishment will keep other teams from deciding to break out the Apple Watches for the use of espionage in the future.
The best news is that the fines will go towards hurricane relief efforts, so there's that. At least something good came from this ridiculous situation — at least more than the unintentional comedy.
- Cleveland's winning streak ran into some drama on Thursday, but Francisco Lindor's game-tying double saved the streak from perishing. Grant Brisbee claimed that Lindor's double was the perfect example of how the streak stayed alive for so long.
- Home plate umpire Jordan Baker made a pretty bad call on what should have been a strikeout pitch for John Lackey. The next pitch went for an RBI single, and both Lackey and Willson Contreras lost it. They both were immediately ejected while the play was still going on.
- For the first time since late August, Cleveland lost a baseball game. Seriously, it actually happened!
- While we're on the subject of baseball teams who got super-hot at the end of the season, check out this video from 2007 when the Rockies were in the process of turning October into Rocktober.
- Even though Lackey and Contreras threw a conniption fit following a bad call, the Cubs still beat the Cardinals to get a little breathing room in the NL Central.
- Buck Farmer hit an umpire with a pitch earlier this week. MLB investigated and ruled that it was unintentional, so he avoided punishment.
- Ruben Amaro Jr. may not be a very popular figure among Phillies fans, but his fingerprints are still present on the current team as their rebuild continues.
- As the Red Sox move past the Apple Watch scandal, now they have to figure out what they're going to do about the struggling Hanley Ramirez.