This is Applegate.
When presented with two polar opposite doctrines of thought, which side of the fence are you on? While one adage states that “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying,” the antithesis proclaims: “honor is simply the morality of superior men.” I ask you this in response to allegations made on Tuesday that the Boston Red Sox were illicitly monitoring and relaying the Yankees’ hand signals with the aid of an Apple watch (Siri, how in the hell am I supposed to square up on an Aroldis Chapman 105 mph fastball?). Yet, not unlike a schoolyard finger-pointing episode, Boston redirected the focus and professed that the Yankees have used communication relays from camera operators with intent of the exact same advantage.
To be clear, stealing signs is not explicitly against the MLB rules, but it is frowned upon. Sign thievery in baseball is not only well documented, but has long since been considered an integral part of the game. With professional sports reaching pinpoint heights in terms of accuracy and competition, any potential edge or advantage gained must be explored. Further, in a game where a 30 percent success rate is considered elite, every morsel of information is crucial. Many legends of the sport have adamantly chimed in on the subject by asking: “what’s an apple watch?”
Having minimal direct experience on the subject myself, I am hesitant to offer any firm educated claims on the matter. However, being someone with *alleged ties to traffic sign thievery, I can confirm that it is both illegal and highly dangerous. As a Sox fan, I am between the proverbial rock and hard place where claiming this as a non-issue may be viewed as bias. I am in agreement that the use of electronic devices to steal signs should be prohibited. My disappointment lies in the fact that the Sox will likely wear this black eye despite the outcome because they are in the crosshairs of the accusation. My understanding is that managers tend to confront other teams’ managers and deal with such matters ‘in house’ so to speak and that the Sox were blindsided by the report.
Ultimately, I can appreciate the gamesmanship of legal sign stealing via the base-runner deciphering alternate sequences or players identifying a pitcher tipping his pitches. Moreover, selling the umpire on making a shoestring catch or framing an outside pitch to make it appear as a strike is all A OK in my view. Apple watches should not be employed to record or relay real-time information in sport, rather should be used to track my hypothetical running program that I have avoided for the past 6 months.
Yours in Freshness