Red Sox

Red Sox-Yankees sign-stealing scandal encourages MLB to monitor dugout phones


Red Sox-Yankees sign-stealing scandal encourages MLB to monitor dugout phones

Their calls may now be monitored for quality assurance.

The sign-stealing scandal between the Red Sox and Yankees didn’t exactly slip away and disappear. The part of the saga that drew the most attention was the primary accusation: that the Red Sox were using some sort of portable electronic device to relay signals.

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MLB found that that the Red Sox indeed sent “electronic communications from their video replay room to an athletic trainer in the dugout,” per the league’s press release in September.

Yet, the Red Sox accused the Yankees of also stealing signs, by using YES Network cameras to help them. The league did not find the Yankees had cheated in this manner.

“In the course of our investigation, however, we learned that during an earlier championship season (prior to 2017) the Yankees had violated a rule governing the use of the dugout phone,” the commissioner’s statement read. “No Club complained about the conduct in question at the time and, without prompting from another Club or my Office, the Yankees halted the conduct in question.  Moreover, the substance of the communications that took place on the dugout phone was not a violation of any Rule or Regulation in and of itself.  Rather, the violation occurred because the dugout phone technically cannot be used for such a communication.”

Now, MLB wants to monitor those dugout phones.

Teams have typically installed the phones at their ballpark. The league is instead looking to replace them with their own phones, sources with knowledge of the plan confirmed to NBC Sports Boston. The Yankees-Sox situation isn't the sole motivation behind the change, but a contributor.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who reported the plan earlier this week

“Baseball is also working to address this problem, installing new phones in every dugout, phones that will connect only to the replay room and bullpen. All communications over those phones will be recorded and monitored, with the goal of eliminating sign-stealing conversation between the dugout and replay room.” 

A couple of uniformed folks who spoke to NBC Sports Boston about this subject recently expressed a sense that such a move was overkill.

More from Rosenthal: “Baseball even discussed banning players and coaches from leaving the dugout to go to the clubhouse or replay room but recognized that such a rule would be difficult to enforce. Still, officials believe that the process of sign stealing will become more burdensome if phone communication is eliminated. Players and coaches will need to leave the dugout and return to relay signs.”

There was chatter even during the playoffs that at least some teams were stealing signs, an act which in itself is not outlawed, but cannot be done by certain methods. As Lance McCullers Jr. of the world champion Astros recently wrote on Twitter (without reference to any specific period of play): "You can’t limit mound visits, especially from the catcher, when everyone is using adv tech to steal signs. You have to change them too often to try to keep things as 'even' as possible. And I’m not talking about signs when a man is on second."


Porcello struggles, Red Sox lose series finale to Rays, 6-3

Porcello struggles, Red Sox lose series finale to Rays, 6-3

ST. PETERBURG - Blake Snell threw six scoreless innings, Wilson Ramos drove in two runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Thursday night.

Snell (6-3) allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight. The left-hander is 2-0 in three starts against Boston this season, giving up two runs and 11 hits in 19 innings.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and Rafael Devers had an RBI double off Matt Andriese in the ninth as Boston got within three runs. But, Alex Colome retired Sandy Leon on a two-out grounder with Devers on second to get his 11th save.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello (6-2) last just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs - four earned - and eight hits. He threw 92 pitches.

Boston (34-16) dropped to 9-4 against the Rays this year.

The Rays took a 5-0 lead after two innings, helped by a pair of Boston miscues.

Denard Span scored the first of two runs during the first when Leon was charged with an error for dropping Porcello's throw home on Ramos' bases-loaded comebacker. Brad Miller added a sacrifice fly.

Ramos had a bases-loaded two-run single in second that also saw Matt Duffy score a third run from first base when right fielder Mookie Betts picked up an error for an errant throw back to the infield.

Duffy put Tampa Bay up 6-0 on a third-inning RBI single.


Youk, Tom Brady's brother-in-law: 'He's going to be the most prepared guy out there'

Youk, Tom Brady's brother-in-law: 'He's going to be the most prepared guy out there'


BOSTON — Kevin Youkilis hasn't been following the hoopla surrounding his brother-in-law's absence from the Patriots' voluntary OTAs. 

The Greek God of Walks was honored at a gala on Thursday night in Boston as one of this year's Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees. Brady, whose sister Julie is married to Youkilis, wasn't on hand.

"Tom’s not going to be here tonight. He has an engagement where he can’t make it," Youkilis said. "But he’s super excited and proud and he’s just, you know, we’re all one big family and all root for each other. And he couldn’t be more proud."

Youkilis said he and Brady text back and forth, to check in on how their respective children are doing, but that's about the extent of their communication. If Youk's been following every twist and turn of Brady's offseason — and now, Brady's absence from OTAs — he didn't let on.

He did bring a little sarcasm, though.

"I don’t even know, like honestly, I have no idea what’s going on," Youk said. "Like to be honest. I’ve been so bogged down with the brewery [I own in California] that I haven’t even watched football yet. It’s too early, right? To worry about football? I guess here in New England it’s always a topic of conversation. Everything will work out. I think Tom knows what he’s doing and he’s going to get out there and who knows, he might lead you to another Super Bowl. 

"I mean, that might be an odd thing to say, right, this early?"

Wink wink.

Asked if Brady's passion for the game is still strong, Youkilis did not hesitate.

"Oh yeah. Oh yeah," Youkilis said. "Tom is a competitor and he’s going to go out there and play as hard as he can every single time he gets out there. He’s going to be the most prepared guy out there on the field, I can tell you that much."