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MLB fines both Red Sox and Yankees for sign-stealing incidents

Both fines will be donated to hurricane relief efforts.

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

The Red Sox cheated by stealing signs. Well, everyone steals signs. Thanks to the dugout feed, every team has access to video for review purposes, but the Red Sox then took that information and relayed it to players via Apple Watches instead of by the usual methods like signs or codewords or holding up a dry erase board. It’s the Apple Watch part that got them in trouble when the Yankees asked MLB to look into the matter, but apparently the Red Sox won’t get in much trouble for the incident.

The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reports that an MLB source says Boston’s punishment will be a “slap on the wrist” thanks to the cooperation the Red Sox showed during MLB’s investigation. Boston admitted they cheated when approached by MLB, and that’s apparently enough.

So, the Red Sox will be punished, but it’ll be light, while the Yankees are now out here getting told on by the Red Sox for goofy things like believing Doug Fister’s mouthguard was a secret listening device (no, seriously, that happened). And if it turns out the Yankees are indeed using YES footage to steal signs like Boston told MLB they are, well, then New York will have managed to cut off a method the Red Sox were using to gain an advantage, but at the expense of their own.

There are no real winners in this, except for all of us. Because we get to laugh at the absurdity of it all, and watch these two teams start to hate each other all over again. I can’t wait to find out that Stephen Drew was actually stealing secrets from the Yankees and sending them to the Red Sox after his trade to New York.

UDPATE 9/15: After over a week of considering a punishment, both the Red Sox and the Yankees have been fined for the sign-stealing incidents (aka Applegate). The league is not disclosing the exact amount of the fines, but the funds will be donated to hurricane relief funds.

As expected, this amounts to a slap on the wrist — for the Red Sox especially. With no suspensions or picks taken from them, they have to be happy with how this was settled. While the Sox were fined for their admitted behavior involving stealing signs with Apple Watches, the Yankees were fined for misuse of the dugout phone last season.

Unfortunately for Boston’s counter complaint, the Commissioner’s Office came to the conclusion that there was not enough evidence to conclude that the Yankees used their YES Network cameras in any suspect ways.

MLB did make it clear to all teams that any similar future transgressions will be handled more harshly and will involve picks. Everyone else is on notice: hide those Apple Watches well.