Shit hit the fan this week when the Yankees and Red Sox both accused each other of cheating; the Sox supposedly using an Apple Watch to steal signals, the Yankees of live-streaming video in the dugout. Between the Price/Eck drama at the beginning of the summer, the Adam Jones incident, and the way they’re playing now, I didn’t think things could get much worse for the Red Sox. Even I’m wrong occasionally.
This is hardly the first time a player or sports team has been accused of cheating. Deflate-gate, Pete Rose, Sammy Sosa, NBA ref Tim Donaghy. It’s been a part of baseball for over a hundred years, from the Black Sox scandal of 1919 to corked bats and pine tar to the countless steroid users of the past few decades. All teams steal signs – though unsportsmanlike, spying is practically part of the game – but the rules on technology in the dugout are clear.
The irony? The Red Sox suck right now. Every pitcher from Chris Sale to ERod is floundering, the bullpen is a disaster, and the bats are not making contact with almost any balls. You’re cheating and you’re not even winning? Can the Red Sox do anything right this summer?
To make things worse, manager John Farrell openly admitted to knowing players were trying to steal signs. He went on to say that he did not know there were devices being used, saying, “I would have shut that down.” That’s like saying you knew someone was going to try to murder someone, and you only would’ve tried to stop them if they were using a gun rather than a knife. From top to bottom, no one in the Red Sox organization who condones cheating should be allowed to stay.
Why the hell are we okay with cheating? Why do we condone and accept it as part of professional sports? I, for one, am sick of athletes getting a free pass to cheat, beat up their spouses, risk innocent lives by driving while under the influence, the list of scandals could go on for pages. We hold athletes to higher standards on the field, but don’t even have the bare minimum standards for them as human beings?
I hope Commissioner Manfred brings down the hammer on any team or player found cheating. I love the Red Sox more than almost anything, but reading about this, I’ve had a pit in my stomach and a horrible taste in my mouth. Though it’s unlikely he’ll take away some of the Red Sox wins, fines and potential loss of future draft picks are likely repercussions. If these guys didn’t learn that actions have consequences when they were kids, they’d better learn now.
I can deal with a losing team. What I can’t and won’t accept is a team of ungrateful, lazy, cheating babies looking for a quick fix for their crumbling season. It not only reflects poorly on the sport and the team, but on their city as well. Us fans deserve better.