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.
The Boston Red Sox 2018 Batting Statistics:
|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|
|Rank in 15 AL teams||1||1||1||1||5||6||3||9||2||4||1||1||1||1||1||13||3|
“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.”