Applegate- the ensuing scandal involving the Boston Red Sox and an Apple watch. But just before we dive deep down into that rabbit hole, let’s back up a little bit.
For those of you who don’t know, sign stealing in baseball is an accepted practice in the the MLB. While it has not been ruled illegal, it also has not been ruled legal. The gray area here leaves the teams to govern themselves, and for decades sign stealing has been seen as part of the game. So what really is the issue in Applegate?
It comes down to the fact that the Yankees were getting worked by the Red Sox bats and blew the whistle like a ref at a deaf kid sporting event, except there was one guy in the crowd that could hear and it happened to be the MLB commissioner.
What the Yankees managed to expose was that the Boston Red Sox were using technology in the dugout; that is a no no! The use of the Apple watch sped up the process of stealing the signs of the defensive team. This became apparent to the Yankees during the Red Sox’s at bats. The fact that the batters were making sound contact with offhanded pitches time and time again raised a lot of eyebrows and led the Yankees to look into the situation.
In a normal effort to steal signs a member of the team would observe the pitcher and catcher and make an effort to decipher the incoming pitch. Once deciphering is complete the information would be personally delivered to the dugout and would then be communicated by one player to another on base, and then to the man at bat. This process has a sort of lag time to it that all teams face. The Red Sox in this case sped up the process enough to gain an advantage over other teams, and all the while violating a no technology rule.
So the Red Sox really did cheat. Stealing signs is fine up and to the point that you are able to do it better and faster than everyone else and gain an advantage, and that is the issue. They just should not have used technology to get the leg up. I don’t think its any bigger of a deal than that. Discourage the use of technology and the game stays the same plain and simple.
On the flip side to this though… How cool would it be to have players cranking balls out left and right, because they have some anticipation of what is coming? Batters are by no means guaranteed to hit anything, you still need skill in that area even if you know you are getting a fast ball right down the middle. But the game will definitely be a lot more exciting if technology is allowed into the dugout.
Also the Yankees are a bunch of pussies for crying about this. If you haven’t heard yet the Red Sox are calling the Yankees out on using technology too. #glasshouses
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