Beyond their close race for the AL East crown, the Yankees and Red Sox have also been locked in a war of competing cheating claims, with the Red Sox charging the Yankees were using a YES Network camera to steal signs from them after Major League Baseball determined the Red Sox used a system based around an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees and other teams. Commissioner Rob Manfred has, like so many of our wise centrist pundits, determined that both sides in the scuffle are bad, and fined both teams for using banned electronics during games.
Major League Baseball put out a statement last night in which the league announced both teams would be fined an undisclosed amount, with the money going towards hurricane relief efforts in Florida. The commissioner's office also announced that any teams undertaking technological shenanigans in the future in order to steal signs could potentially be stripped of draft picks.
Manfred's announcement confirmed the reports earlier in the month that the Red Sox illegally used electronic equipment to steal signs from the Yankees, by sending information from the video replay room to a trainer in the dugout. However, he wrote that MLB's investigation found "the violation in question occurred without the knowledge of ownership or front office personnel."
As for the Yankees, Manfred wrote that while his investigation didn't corroborate the Red Sox's charge that the Yankees used a YES Network camera to spy on their bench coach, the team had apparently used their bullpen phone to communicate information you're not allowed to share on a bullpen phone.
ESPN's Buster Olney called the punishment "toothless" and compared it to a parent punishing children by saying "I’m really punishing both of you, and you can both go to bed early without the sprinkles on your ice cream." Still, perhaps the commissioner just figured that the teams would figure things out on their own between the foul lines.