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Report: Major League Baseball determines Red Sox illegally used technology to steal signs from the Yankees

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Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports that, after an investigation, Major League Baseball has determined that the Red Sox illegally used an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees.

The Red Sox hosted the Yankees in mid-August for a three-game set, winning two of the three games. Yankees GM Brian Cashman filed a complaint to the commissioner’s office using video of the Red Sox dugout which showed a trainer looking at his Apple Watch, then relaying a message to players. Presumably, this information allowed the hitters to know what pitch was coming.

When confronted by the commissioner’s office, the Red Sox admitted that trainers had been receiving signals from video replay personnel, which was then relayed to the players. It’s not known how long the Red Sox have been at it, but it’s been “at least several weeks,” according to Schmidt. The Red Sox contend that manager John Farrell, GM Dave Dombrowski, and other front office personnel were not aware of the operation.

In a bit of gamesmanship, the Red Sox filed a complaint of their own to the commissioner’s office, alleging that the Yankees use a YES Network camera exclusively to steal signs. The Red Sox also accused the Indians of stealing signs after Game 1 of the ALDS last year.

Stealing signs is not forbidden by the rulebook, but using technology to do so is. So the Red Sox are clearly at fault here and will likely face some sort of punishment. Schmidt did not speculate as to what that could be.

The Red Sox, who recently lost three of four games to the Yankees in New York, have a narrow 2.5-game lead over their rival in the AL East standings.

Report: Joe Girardi withdraws from consideration as Reds’ next manager

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Former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi has reportedly withdrawn his name for consideration in the Reds’ managerial search, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Per Rosenthal, Girardi was considered the frontrunner for the position, but elected to keep his current gig as an MLB Network analyst for the foreseeable future.

The 54-year-old skipper holds a lifetime 988-794 record in 11 years with the Marlins and Yankees. He cut his teeth on the Marlins’ 2006 season, during which the team skidded to a fourth-place finish in the NL East, then helped the Yankees to 10 consecutive winning records and a World Series title. While Mark Feinsand of MLB.com adds that Girardi “absolutely wants to manage again,” it’s unclear when and with whom he might choose to do so.

Without Girardi, the Reds still have several candidates left in play, not the least of whom is retired MLB third baseman David Bell. Bell previously served as the Reds’ Double-A and Triple-A manager from 2008-2012 and racked up a cumulative 227-332 record during that span. His resume also includes several coaching positions with the Cubs and Cardinals, and most recently, a role as VP of player development for the Giants in 2018. As Rosenthal points out, however, the 46-year-old coach is hardly a lock for a managerial spot with the Reds, as he’s also made a strong impression on the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Giants this fall.