The Apple Watch can be used for a lot of good things, especially when it comes to fitness, but apparently one Major League Baseball team found a way to use the wearable for nefarious purposes.
According to a report from The New York Times, the Boston Red Sox have illicitly used the Apple Watch to steal hand signals from teams like the New York Yankees. Independent investigators working on behalf of the MLB discovered that the Red Sox worked to steal hand signals delivered by other teams’ catchers:
“Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.”
Yankees’ General Manager, Brian Cashman, instigated the investigation after calling into question watching training staff for the Red Sox looking at an Apple Watch in the dugout, and then relaying information to players. The players could have used that information to know which type of pitch was incoming. The investigation began two weeks ago, and by various means, including instant replays and dugout camera shots, have confirmed the allegations against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox have since confirmed the allegations:
“Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees’ claims based on video the commissioner’s office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.”
It’s worth noting that the inclusion of the Apple Watch is what makes this action against the rules. In baseball, the second baseman is technically allowed to read the signals from the catcher and pass that information on to the batter. However, using a piece of technology to do that, even when a runner is not on second, is illegal.
As for the ramifications that the Red Sox will face, that remains to be seen.
[via New York Times]