Red Sox

Farrell offers no defense or explanation for report on sign-stealing

Farrell offers no defense or explanation for report on sign-stealing

BOSTON — Red Sox manager John Farrell offered no defense and no explanation on Tuesday after a report in The New York Times pegged the team as sign-stealers, swiping signals from the Yankees via the help of an Apple watch.

Farrell, speaking in his 4:20 p.m. usual pregame press conference, said the cheating case -- which embroils his training staff as well as some players, all the while impugning his own credibility -- is a league matter. 

“Aware of the rule, electronic devices are not to be used in the dugout,” Farrell said. “But beyond that the only thing I can say is it’s a league matter at this point.”

Per the report, Farrell and Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski were unaware of the scheme.

The Times reported that MLB investigators determined the Sox did indeed steal the Yankees’ signs after an inquiry that started roughly two weeks ago. Yanks GM Brian Cashman filed a complaint the Times referred to as detailed. The complaint included “video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.”

The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.

The Red Sox responded in kind on Tuesday, filing a complaint against the Yankees, claiming that the team uses a camera from its television network, YES, exclusively to steal signs during games.

Dustin Pedroia was involved, per the report. 

The video provided to the commissioner’s office by the Yankees was captured during the first two games of the series and included at least three clips. In the clips, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to Young.

More light should be shed in a 5:45 scheduled press conference at Fenway Park with Rob Manfred.

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Is Red Sox' slump temporary, or did they come back to earth?

Is Red Sox' slump temporary, or did they come back to earth?

NEW YORK -- All year, this looked like the revival of the 2016 offense. Some extended drop-offs are starting to make that seem like a mirage.

The Red Sox’ 11 home runs in the month of September are the fewest of all 30 teams. As of midnight going into Thursday, their on-base percentage in September, .317, was middle of the pack at 14th best. Their slugging percentage, meanwhile, was worse than all but four teams, at .362.

“There’s been a few at-bats early in the game, in these two games, that we had a chance to score right away,” Alex Cora said after a 10-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. “We had man at third with less than two outs, and we haven’t been able to cash in. That’s something that, we’ll talk about it, and it’s always good to get the lead. I think we’re pretty good ball club doing that. There’s certain at-bats, just put the ball in play and get the runner in and keep moving forward. We’ll talk about it.”

The Red Sox offense overall still has been a juggernaut. The Sox entered Wednesday first in runs per game (5.30), first in slugging percentage (.449) and tied for the second-most steals (117). They wouldn’t have 103 wins without a very capable lineup.

But as the playoffs arrive, the Sox need to look at their recent downturn and identify whether they feel they’ve just hit a natural rut, or whether something both larger and correctable is at play. Were some players simply playing over their heads collectively, or have they just temporarily lost their approach?

Sandy Leon is hitting .098 in the second half. Mitch Moreland is hitting .179, Christian Vazquez .200 and Rafael Devers .222. Blake Swihart, the man who must rarely play, is at .250, with Brock Holt at .224.

Vazquez, Moreland and Leon together are a combined 39-for-264 in the second half: a .149 average. Andrew Benintendi (.263) has just two home runs and a .693 OPS. 

J.D. Martinez (.339) is still his incredible, awesome self, while Mookie Betts (.296) has done very well but seen a drop in power too, with just six home runs since the break. That’s the same amount as Jackie Bradley Jr., who has quietly put together a very solid second half, with an .818 OPS.

The Red Sox don’t seem to be swinging at strikes as often as they were before. Per FanGraphs, the Sox had a 69.2 percent swing percentage at pitches in the zone, sixth best in the majors in the first half. They entered Wednesday 19th best in the second half, at 66.2 percent.

The Sox could be due to break out. They could also be a lineup exposed. But it’s a topic they’ll have to invest time in before the playoffs begin, and consider whether players like Moreland and Leon make their lineup as strong as can be over, say, Swihart and Steve Pearce.

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Highlights from Boston Red Sox' 10-1 loss to New York Yankees

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Highlights from Boston Red Sox' 10-1 loss to New York Yankees

FINAL SCORE: 10-1, Yankees

IN BRIEF:  David Price's issues at Yankee Stadium continued as the Red Sox failed to clinch the AL East again on Wednesday night. Box score.

RED SOX RECORD: 103-49.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Red Sox lead the Yankees by 9 1/2 games in the A.L. East standings with 10 games remaining in the season.

MAGIC NUMBER

Still stands at 2

HIGHLIGHTS

WHAT'S NEXT:

THURSDAY: Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez, 12-4, 3.53) at Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 12-5. 3.47), 7:05 p.m.

FRIDAY: Red Sox (Chris Sale, 12-4, 1.92) at Indians (Trevor Bauer, 12-6. 2.22), 7:10 p.m.

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