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MLB investigating a Diamondbacks coach for wearing a smart watch

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The New York Post reports that Major League Baseball is investigating why Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto was wearing what appears to be a smart watch during last night’s Wild Card game against the Rockies.

As you likely recall, the Red Sox were recently given a fine after it was discovered that they had stolen signs via the use of a smart watch, which violated baseball’s rules regarding the use of electronic devices for such a purpose. At the time of the fine, the league said that future sanctions would be more severe in light of the warning provided by the Red Sox incident.

It is unclear, of course, whether Prieto was using his watch for anything or if, rather, he was just wearing it out of habit. Electronic devices that are internet-capable are prohibited as a matter of course, however, and any laptops or tablets used in a dugout must have connectivity disabled. Again, it’s unclear what the status of Prieto’s watch was and no one is commenting on anything.

Worth watching, even if it seems likely that little if anything comes out of this.

UPDATE: The Arizona Diamondbacks have released as statement:

“Ariel Prieto has assured us that this was a simple oversight and honest mistake. The watch he wore last night was absolutely not used in any way related to our game and we will make¬†certain prior to the NLDS that it will not be an issue again. Ariel takes full responsibility and feels terrible that this has been a distraction of any kind.”

I presume that will be the end of that.

The Astros gave the Yankees an opening. Keuchel and Verlander will try to close the door.

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If Game 4 of the ALCS had been even remotely conventional, it’d stand at 3-1 in favor of Houston right now. The Yankees’ starter pitched well but got no run support. A mighty Astros team with an ordinarily good closer in Ken Giles had a 4-0 lead in the late innings. As the Yankees set out to mount a comeback, a base runner fell down in between first and second and should’ve been dead to rights. This is playoff baseball, however, so stuff, as they say, happens. The runner was safe, the closer struggled, the Yankees rallied and now we’re tied 2-2.

But are we even at 2-2?

On paper, no, because the Astros now will send Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander out in Games 5 and 6, and that gives them a clear advantage. Keuchel dominated the Yankees in Game 1, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out ten batters. Verlander struck out 13 batters in a 124-pitch complete game in which he allowed only a single run. Beyond the mere facts of the box scores, however, the Yankees have looked profoundly overmatched by both of the Astros’ aces, in this postseason and on other occasions on which they’ve faced off against them. Most notably in the 2015 wild-card game at Yankee Stadium when Keuchel pitched six scoreless innings in the 3-0 victory.

But remember: stuff happens.

Stuff like Aaron Judge‘s and Gary Sanchez‘s bats waking up. The two most important sluggers in the Bombers lineup combined to go 3-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, a walk and five RBI in last night’s victory. Each of them had been silent for the first three games of the series but if they’re heating up, the Yankees will be a lot harder to pitch to.

Stuff like Masahiro Tanaka showing that he can tame the Astros’ lineup. Which he did pretty well in Game 1, giving up only two runs on four hits in six innings. He was overshadowed by Keuchel in that game, but it was a good performance against a strong lineup in a hostile environment. Tanaka pitches much better at Yankee Stadium than he does on the road, so don’t for a second think that the Astros bats will have an easy time of it today.

Stuff like the Yankees bullpen still being the Yankees bullpen. Yes, the Astros got to David Robertson yesterday, but it’s still a strong, strong group that gives the Yankees a clear advantage if the game is close late or if they hold a lead.

All of which is to say that we have ourselves a series, friends. While, 48 hours ago, it seemed like we were on our way to an Astros coronation, the Yankees have shown up in a major way in Games 3 and 4. If you’re an Astros fan you should feel pretty confident with Keuchel and Verlander heading into action over the next two games, but we have learned that absolutely nothing is guaranteed in the postseason.