According to Reports: Boston Red Sox Used Video Replay Room to Steal Signs During 2018 MLB Season

Home » According to Reports: Boston Red Sox Used Video Replay Room to Steal Signs During 2018 MLB Season

On Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 a report was published by the Athletic regarding the Boston Red Sox using the video replay room to steal signs from their opponents’ pitchers and catchers during the 2018 Major League Baseball season. This report cites three anonymous individuals that were with the Boston Red Sox organization throughout the 2018 baseball year.

The Red Sox won the World Series in 2018, and they may have cheated in order to do so. The people involved in reporting this story claimed that the team electronically stole signs during the 2018 MLB season, and that gave the franchise an extremely unfair advantage over their competition that year. Multiple sources from the Red Sox recently explained that Boston was unable to conduct this sign stealing process during the 2018 MLB postseason due to the fact that Major League Baseball stationed in person supervisors in all video replay rooms throughout the playoffs that year.

The Red Sox Sign Stealing Procedure:

Apparently, players from the Boston Red Sox would enter the video replay room in order to decipher the sign sequences from the catcher. Those players would then provide that information to Red Sox personnel in the dugout. Finally, the Boston dugout would relay the information to a baserunner who would use body language and body movement to signal the batter which pitch was coming.

The Houston Astros Stealing Signs in 2017:

In a separate but similar sign stealing scandal the Houston Astros were accused of stealing signs and cheating as well, but the Astros are implicated in this offense during the 2017 MLB season. In 2017 the Houston Astros won the World Series. Their bench coach at that time was Alex Cora who was also the manager of the Red Sox the following year in 2018. He is now facing possible discipline from Major League Baseball for being involved in both of these isolated ordeals.

Sign Stealing has always been a Part of the Game:

Although stealing signs in baseball has always been an acceptable and tolerated part of the game, it is absolutely unacceptable and not permitted to do so with use of electronics or technology. It is an unwritten rule in professional baseball that sign stealing naturally should be defended by the pitchers and catchers changing their sign sequences occasionally, but if the method that is being reported here is utilized by a team it is illegal and it will be reprimanded. Major League Baseball is currently conducting a thorough investigation into both of these sign stealing situations from 2017 as well as 2018. Once completed the findings and disciplinary actions will be announced by the MLB.

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The Boston Red Sox 2018 Batting Statistics:

Rk Pos Name Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
1 C Sandy Leon# 29 89 288 265 30 47 12 5 22 1 15 75 .177 .232 .279 .511 37 74 6 4 3 1
2 1B Mitch Moreland* 32 124 459 404 57 99 23 4 15 68 2 50 102 .245 .325 .433 .758 102 175 12 5 2
3 2B Eduardo Nunez 31 127 502 480 56 127 23 3 10 44 7 2 16 69 .265 .289 .388 .677 81 186 17 2 1 3
4 SS Xander Bogaerts 25 136 580 513 72 148 45 3 23 103 8 2 55 102 .288 .360 .522 .883 135 268 14 6 6 4
5 3B Rafael Devers* 21 121 490 450 59 108 24 21 66 5 2 38 121 .240 .298 .433 .731 94 195 9 2 6
6 LF Andrew Benintendi* 23 148 661 579 103 168 41 6 16 87 21 3 71 106 .290 .366 .465 .830 123 269 9 2 2 7 1
7 CF Jackie Bradley Jr.* 28 144 535 474 76 111 33 4 13 59 17 1 46 137 .234 .314 .403 .717 92 191 6 11 4 3
8 RF Mookie Betts 25 136 614 520 129 180 47 5 32 80 30 6 81 91 .346 .438 .640 1.078 186 333 5 8 5 8
9 DH J.D. Martinez 30 150 649 569 111 188 37 2 43 130 6 1 69 146 .330 .402 .629 1.031 173 358 19 4 7 11
Rk Pos Name Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
10 MI Brock Holt* 30 109 367 321 41 89 18 2 7 46 7 7 37 73 .277 .362 .411 .774 109 132 7 7 2 2
11 C Christian Vazquez 27 80 269 251 24 52 10 3 16 4 1 13 41 .207 .257 .283 .540 46 71 5 4 1 1
12 UT Blake Swihart# 26 82 207 192 28 44 10 3 18 6 1 15 57 .229 .285 .328 .613 65 63 4
13 1B Hanley Ramirez 34 44 195 177 25 45 7 6 29 4 1 14 35 .254 .313 .395 .708 90 70 9 2 2
14 1B Steve Pearce 35 50 165 136 19 38 8 1 7 26 22 27 .279 .394 .507 .901 141 69 1 5 2
15 2B Ian Kinsler 36 37 143 132 17 32 6 1 16 7 3 10 24 .242 .294 .311 .604 64 41 5 1
16 SS Tzu-Wei Lin* 24 37 73 65 15 16 6 1 1 6 1 8 17 .246 .329 .415 .744 100 27
17 UT Sam Travis 24 19 38 36 5 8 3 1 7 2 10 .222 .263 .389 .652 73 14 1
18 IF Brandon Phillips 37 9 27 23 4 3 1 2 4 7 .130 .259 .261 .520 42 6 1
19 2B Dustin Pedroia 34 3 13 11 1 1 2 1 .091 .231 .091 .322 -7 1
20 C Dan Butler 31 2 7 6 1 1 2 .167 .143 .167 .310 -17 1 1
21 Tony Renda 27 1 1
22 P Rick Porcello 29 3 7 7 1 3 2 3 3 .429 .429 .714 1.143 201 5
23 P Brian Johnson* 27 2 4 4 1 1 1 .250 .250 .250 .500 36 1
24 P Nathan Eovaldi 28 2 3 2 1 1 2 .000 .333 .000 .333 3
25 P Chris Sale* 29 1 2 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
26 P Eduardo Rodriguez* 25 1 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
27 P Hector Velazquez 29 3 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
28 P Heath Hembree 29 6 1 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
29 P Carson Smith 28 1
30 P Jalen Beeks* 24
31 P Steven Wright 33 2
32 P Drew Pomeranz 29 3
33 P Bobby Poyner* 25 2
34 P Craig Kimbrel 30 7
35 P Brandon Workman 29 4
36 P Joe Kelly 30 6
37 P David Price* 32
38 P Justin Haley* 27
39 P William Cuevas# 27 2
40 P Ryan Brasier 30 3
41 P Tyler Thornburg 29
42 P Matt Barnes 28 4
43 P Robby Scott# 28 1
44 P Marcus Walden 29 2
Team Totals 27.8 162 6302 5623 876 1509 355 31 208 829 125 31 569 1253 .268 .339 .453 .792 112 2550 130 55 7 48 38
Rank in 15 AL teams 1 1 1 1 5 6 3 9 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 13 3
Non-Pitcher Totals 27.8 162 6282 5604 873 1505 353 31 208 826 125 31 568 1243 .269 .339 .454 .793 112 2544 130 55 7 48 38
Pitcher Totals 25.2 162 20 19 3 4 2 3 1 10 .211 .250 .316 .566 52 6
Rk Pos Name Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
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Media Statements:

“We were recently made aware of allegations suggesting the inappropriate use of our video replay room,” says the Boston team in a statement released to The Athletic. “We take these allegations seriously and will fully cooperate with MLB as they investigate the matter.”

It’s cheating,” an anonymous source who was with the Red Sox in 2018 explained to The Athletic. “Because if you’re using a camera to zoom in on the crotch of the catcher, to break down the sign system, and then take that information and give it out to the runner, then he doesn’t have to steal it.”

“The Commissioner made clear in a September 15, 2017, memorandum to clubs how seriously he would take any future violation of the regulations regarding use of electronic equipment or the inappropriate use of the video replay room,” Major League Baseball expressed in their statement to The Athletic. “Given these allegations, MLB will commence an investigation into this matter.”

Major League Baseball warned all 30 professional baseball teams in a memo regarding electronic sign stealing in late 2017 by stating, “Electronic equipment, including game feeds in the Club replay room and/or video room, may never be used during a game for the purpose of stealing the opposing team’s signs.”

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