Just when you thought wearables were completely useless, the Red Sox have (allegedly) come up with a solid use case: beating the Yankees. Major League Baseball investigators found the Boston baseball team was using the Apple Watch as a part of ploy to decode signals exchanged between the Yankee’s pitcher and catcher, according to the New York Times.
The New York team procured video of the Red Sox training manager repeatedly checking his Apple Watch, before advising the team. The MLB investigation revealed that, indeed, Red Sox staffers were watching instant replays to pair catcher signals to pitches and then sending the insight to the manager in the dugout, giving the Sox a way of knowing what kind of pitch was coming. In one case captured on video—either by the League or the Yankees or both—Dustin Pedroia, who was on the disabled list at the time, can be seen receiving information from a trainer and passing it to outfielder Chris Young.
The complaint relates to the teams’ series last month at Fenway Park, but the MLB investigation found the practice was not limited to games against New York. Though stealing pitch signals is old hat in baseball, texting makes the practice more complex for the MLB. No word yet as to whether or how the MLB might penalize the Red Sox.
Cheating with an Apple Watch is the closest MLB has ever come to trying to market to millennials https://t.co/gFUqb9esw5
— Anthony Vitale (@antsvitale) September 5, 2017
Fortunately, the affair and the bitter rivalry didn’t completely cool the teams’ sportsmanship and good will: At Sunday night’s series finale between the clubs at Yankee Stadium—where the Yanks beat the Sox in a 9-2 rout, winning a four-game series—the teams announced they are teaming up to help victims of Hurricane Harvey by auctioning off autographed memorabilia and game-used jerseys—but no smartwatches. (See the auction websites for the Yankees and the Red Sox.)