Smartwatches have long felt like a gadget in search of a purpose. However, it seems the Boston Red Sox have finally discovered one thing they are actually good at: Cheating.
According to a complaint filed by New York Yankees‘ general manager Brian Cashman and later corroborated by Major League Baseball, it seems the Boston Red Sox used the messaging function on an Apple Watch to steal signs between Yankees pitchers and catchers and then relay that info to its batters.
According to the The New York Times, the Red Sox told league investigators that team personnel had been instructed to monitor instant-replay video and then send signs to trainers in the dugout via their Apple Watches. The trainers would then pass on the info to the players, thus giving them an advantage before an incoming pitch.
Stealing signs isn’t anything new for baseball, but the use of an Apple Watch is a pretty dastardly use of modern technology. Last season, the Dodgers were found guilty of cheating when the team used laser rangefinders to position its players in the outfield.
Of course, in true Red Sox fashion, the team countered by filing a (probably bogus) complaint alleging that the Yankees used a camera from its YES television network to steal signs as well.
Red Sox fans also seemed to have latched on the Apple Watch, not because of the tech itself, but because of their never-ending inferiority complex that flares up any time the Yankees are mentioned. One Bostonian even went so far as to say, “This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to wear an Apple Watch.” I guess congratulations are in order to Tim Cook and company for finding a way to cross over into a new demographic.
As someone who went to university in Boston, this kind of vitriol is pervasive across the entire region. I once went a movie near Fenway, and after the movie concluded (which was not related to sports at all) some members of Red Sox nation decided they would celebrate the ending by chanting “Jeter Sucks”. True story.