Major League coaches: Stop wearing Apple Watches!
If you were watching the NL Wild Card game between the Diamondbacks and Rockies, you might have noticed a Diamondbacks coach wearing an item of particular interest in Major League Baseball: an Apple Watch.
TBS cameras caught D'backs coach/Spanish interpreter Ariel Prieto wearing the Apple Watch in the bottom of the second inning, and Major League Baseball has launched an investigation into why Prieto was wearing the device, reports The New York Post.
Apple Watches—more specifically, their use in baseball—became a hot topic when the Yankees submitted a report accusing the Red Sox of using the devices to communicate the Yankees' pitch signs during a series at Fenway Park in September. According to the Yankees' accusations, a Red Sox official watching the television broadcast would send a message to a coach via the watch, and the coach would then relay the sign to the batter. Shortly thereafter, MLB investigators confirmed the Yankees' suspicions by viewing their own footage, and the Red Sox admitted to having trainers use electronic devices to communicate signs to players.
The Red Sox responded by accusing the Yankees' broadcast network of having a camera specifically for stealing signs, according to a New York Times report.
In the end, the Red Sox were fined an undisclosed amount, with the money being donated to Hurricane relief, and the Yankees weren't punished. The league went relatively light because the act of trying to steal signs isn't illegal in itself, but using technology to aid the practice is. Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement warning all 30 teams that if they use Apple Watches or any other technology to steal signs, they will be punished more severely, including the possible loss of draft picks.
Odds are Prieto is aware of the whole Red Sox-Yankee fiasco, and maybe he's just wearing the watch because he thinks it looks sweet. (It does.)
But still, if you're an MLB coach, just stop wearing an Apple Watch!