Today in breaking news that surely will blow over without any sort of controversy or extended litigating in a public forum, the Red Sox have been caught stealing signs. More importantly, they were caught by their division rival Yankees and have openly admitted to doing so.
According to a report from The New York Times, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman filed a complaint with Major League Baseball after a series in Boston in which the Yankees alleged they caught the Red Sox stealing signs.
The league then confirmed the Yankees’ complaint had merit and confronted the Red Sox about the allegations...at which point the Red Sox straight up admitted that they had been stealing signs for at the least multiple weeks by the time they were faced with evidence against them.
The team says that front office brass like GM Dave Dombrowski and manager John Farrell had no idea that this was going on. In fact, Farrell says that if he had known an Apple Watch was part of it he would have shut it down.
To clarify. Farrell knew players were trying to steal signs. He did not know there were devices being used. "I would have shut that down."— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) September 5, 2017
Importantly, the Red Sox weren’t just stealing signs from other teams. That’s in the gray area between finding an advantageous loophole in the game and cheating. They stole signs by using an Apple Watch to communicate with trainers and dugout personnel who then passed information to players. That’s cheating.
Possibly the best part of this entire thing — and the piece that is what makes this situation sure to last longer than a normal mini-scandal in baseball — is that the Red Sox have filed a counter-complaint against the Yankees alleging that they are using cameras from the team’s YES Network TV station to steal signs as well.
Rivalries need a controversy of some kind or another to keep them going and add some oomph to the proceedings, and what’s better than the Yankees and Red Sox embroiling themselves in a cheating scandal only weeks before the playoffs begin.
If you agree that no PR is bad PR, these teams will be at the front of everyone’s minds again just as baseball enters the most high-profile time of its year. Fun!
The league hasn’t revealed if or when it will punish the Sox for their actions and is declining to comment right now. But with counter-complaints flying and the finger-pointing having just begun, we’re not done hearing about this any time soon.
UPDATE: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has confirmed that the Sox will not lose any wins over this transgression, but there’s no word on whether another punishment or fine will be levied besides that.
Both front offices are responding to the controversy in slightly different ways.