There’s an old adage that goes something like this, “If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.” That theory has been around for decades in the world of sports, and it’s probably not going away anytime soon.
In fact, the long standing rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees just heated up with cheating allegations. You’re not going to believe how one team is using modern technology against its opponents.
How the Red Sox are using tech to cheat
Teams have been stealing hand signals from the opposition since the early days of baseball. Hand signals are used between players and coaches to convey things like what pitch will be thrown next and if a player should attempt to steal a base.
As I said, trying to steal and decrypt these signals is commonplace. However, the Red Sox have taken the practice to the next level. The team was accused of using an Apple Watch in a recent series against the Yankees.
This is actually a pretty elaborate cheating scheme. Here’s how it worked: A scouting assistant in charge of watching replays during games would steal the signal from the opposing team’s catcher, telling the pitcher what pitch to throw next.
He would then send a text to a coach in the team’s dugout, which was received via Apple Watch. The coach then relayed what pitch was coming next, fastball, curveball, slider, etc…to the players on the field so the batter knew what to look for.
The Yankees said they found video implicating Red Sox’s personnel of this scheme and filed an official complaint with Major League Baseball (MLB.)
MLB officials conducted an investigation and determined that the Red Sox were actually doing this. They not only used the technique against NY, but they’ve also used this technology versus other opponents this season. (Note: In case you’re not aware, using electronics in the team dugout is against the rules.)
When confronted about the allegations, Red Sox coaches admitted it was happening. Of course, they, in turn, filed a complaint against the Yankees for stealing signs by using a camera from its YES television network. Those allegations are still under investigation.
Although you do have to give it to the Red Sox, they finally found a legitimate reason to own a smartwatch.