Major League Baseball has found that the Boston Red Sox have illicitly used an Apple Watch to steal pitching signals from their rival team, the New York Yankees.
The New York Times reports that the Yankees levied the claim two weeks ago and backed it up with video from the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park in Boston during a late August series of matches. League investigators were able to affirm the claim.
Spying for signals is legal, but not with the aid of enhanced optics, like a telescope, or electronics. Front office executives for the Sox, including manager John Farrell and general manager Dave Dombrowski, were said to be unaware of the scheme.
The Red Sox counterclaimed on Tuesday that the Yankees-owned YES cable TV network had a camera trained on their pitching signals as well.
From what we can infer, it seems as though messages were relayed from team staff looking at available video replay feeds, then quickly messaging a trainer in the dugout who would pass along the information. The Apple Watch as a medium for notification helps to cut down on the time it took to physically run information down to the dugout while a player-on-base situation was at hand.
MLB commissioner Robert Manfred has yet to determine any disciplinary action for the Red Sox. Massachusetts native and Apple’s president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller expressed his support for the team.
Go #RedSox !
— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) September 5, 2017
9to5Mac notes a 2013 investigation into Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost’s Apple Watch use on the field amounted to very little as his smartwatch wasn’t tethered to his iPhone.