Red Sox Fined Undisclosed Amount for Using Electronic Devices to Steal Signs

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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia attempted to get a double play against the Yankees during their series in early September.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it was fining the Boston Red Sox an undisclosed amount that will be donated to hurricane relief efforts in Florida for their illicit use of electronic devices to decipher signs given by the Yankees’ catcher in a series last month.

The baseball inquiry began several weeks ago, after the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner’s office that included video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series between the two teams in Boston in August.

Investigators for Major League Baseball determined that the Red Sox executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from the Yankees’ catchers.

“In assessing the significance of this violation, the investigation established three relevant points,” baseball’s commissioner, Robert D. Manfred, said in a statement. “First, the violation in question occurred without the knowledge of ownership or front office personnel. Second, when the Red Sox learned of the Yankees’ complaint, they immediately halted the conduct in question and then cooperated completely in my investigation. I have received absolute assurances from the Red Sox that there will be no future violations of this type. Third, our investigation revealed that clubs have employed various strategies to decode signs that do not violate our rules. The Red Sox’ strategy violated our rules because of the use of an electronic device.”

In the course of the investigation, the statement said, the Yankees were found to have violated a rule pertaining to the use of a dugout phone “during an earlier championship season (prior to 2017).” For that, the commissioner’s office said it would fine the Yankees “a lesser undisclosed amount which in turn will be donated by my office to hurricane relief efforts in Florida.”

After the Yankees filed their complaint, the Red Sox filed a counter-claim that said the Yankees had improperly used a YES Network camera in an effort to steal signs. Manfred said the evidence for that was insufficient.

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