The Boston Red Sox’s use of Apple Watches as part of a scheme to steal signs from opponents during the 2017 season resurfaced Tuesday after a prominent baseball writer alleged that former player Chris Young admitted to a key role in the scheme.
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During an appearance on a San Diego radio station, longtime baseball insider Peter Gammons said Young told him he “started the whole Apple Watch thing” with the Red Sox following his stint with the New York Yankees in 2015. An MLB investigation in 2017 concluded that Young and other members of the Red Sox used video cameras and an Apple Watch in the dugout to signal “sign sequences” to each other, giving the team an edge against other pitchers, SNY reported.
Young told SNY that he never made the comments alleged by Gammons. The baseball writer later issued a retraction on Twitter.
The Red Sox’s use of Apple Watches during the 2017 season occurred before MLB officials expressly forbid electronic sign-stealing efforts. However, the league began investigating the practice after the Yankees filed a complaint following a game against the Red Sox in August 2017. Young was interviewed as part of that investigation, according to SNY.
An Apple representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred fined the Red Sox an undisclosed amount for the scheme. In a memo to all 30 teams at the investigation’s conclusion, Manfred warned that future offenses involving electronic sign-stealing would result in stiff penalties, including “possible loss of draft picks.”
The scheme resurfaced this week even as MLB investigates the Red Sox for potential violations involving sign-stealing during the 2018 season, which ended in a championship win for Boston. Alex Cora, the former Houston Astros bench coach implicated earlier this year in a sign-stealing scandal during the 2017 season, took over as manager of the Red Sox in 2018.
“We will issue a comment when the investigation regarding the Red Sox has concluded,” an MLB spokesman told FOX Business. “At the moment, it remains ongoing.”
The Red Sox fired Cora last month after he was found culpable in the MLB’s investigation into the Astros. The league fined the Astros $5 million and stripped the team of draft picks after it found evidence that players used video and a signaling system to steal signs from opposing pitchers.