Oh, what a time we live in. Instant access to nearly anything we could ever ask for. Mini computers we carry in our pockets, more powerful than even the largest supercomputer of forty years ago. And maybe most importantly, yoga pants have gone mainstream. Ah, the yoga pants…Anyhow, the progression of our society has become such an unstoppable force that it has now swept up even our most timeless and tradition-rich game – Major League Baseball. On Tuesday, according to the New York Times, an MLB investigation determined that the Boston Red Sox used Apple watches to steal and relay signs from the opposing catcher during their series against the rival New York Yankees.
Picture Courtesy: NorthJersey.com
Yes, you read that correctly. Allegedly, a Red Sox team employee watching a video feed would relay the signs via Apple watch to one of the coaches in the dugout, who would then relay the information to the players. The investigation originated from a complaint filed a month ago by Yankees GM Brian Cashman, alleging the questionable activity. This allegation was proven correct when the results of the investigation were delivered today. MLB has yet to announce if there will be any punishment handed out to the Red Sox team and any of its players or coaches.
From spitballs to sign stealing, major league teams have always tried to gain a competitive advantage by any means necessary. Telescopes and binoculars have even been used in the past in an attempt to steal signs, but those methods are easy to identify and put and end to. Modern technology, however, is more difficult to stay ahead of, especially given the rate at which it advances.
A player knowing the catcher’s sign mere moments before the pitch is delivered may seem to be only a small advantage, but in a sport that has already had an entire era that revolved around cheating, another scandal that raises questions about the game’s integrity could be catastrophic to a sport that is becoming more regional by the day. It also doesn’t help that this controversy involves two of the sport’s biggest markets, and two of its most popular teams. Scandals take on a life of their own in the New England market. Just ask the Patriots if they ever though a few ounces of air from a football could spark a nationwide firestorm, fueled by both local and national media.
Apple-gate, as it will undoubtedly be named, has the potential to set off the same type of media storm, and force the league to be proactive instead of reactive. What is currently part of baseball’s extensive list of unwritten rules, will now have to be in printed black and white, to ensure that all forms of competitive advantage are erased. Yesterday’s telescope became today’s Apple watch. What will it be tomorrow? That’s for MLB to determine, and somehow find a way to prevent.
Title Photo Source: Telegram.com