If the Yankees had hoped to deal a significant blow to the Red Sox when they accused Boston of using electronics to steal signs from their catchers during a series at Fenway Park last month, they didn’t get their wish Friday.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the Red Sox were guilty of the charge and fined them an undisclosed amount, but he also fined the Yankees a lesser amount for improper use of a bullpen phone during a previous season.
As expected, there was no discipline of any player or coach — and neither team lost a draft pick.
Every team in the majors was also notified “future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.”
“It’s over,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the penalties were made public. “We move forward, and that’s all I can tell you.”
The funds from the fines will be donated to hurricane relief efforts in Florida.
The battle between the two AL East rivals began when the Yankees sent video to MLB with evidence alleging that members of the Red Sox’ training staff used an Apple Watch to relay information from video personnel to players.
MLB rules do not prohibit stealing signs, but using electronics to do so is not allowed.
After the complaint, the Red Sox admitted to the wrongdoing, which contributed to the light penalty levied on Friday.
In his statement, Manfred said “the violation in question occurred without the knowledge of ownership or front office personnel” and that “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.”
Manfred acknowledged that improved technology in the game “has made it increasingly difficult to monitor appropriate and inappropriate uses of electronic equipment.”
The Red Sox responded to the Yankees’ complaint by filing one of their own, alleging the “Yankees had made improper use of the YES Network in an effort to decipher the Red Sox signs.”
The Red Sox believed the Yankees used a camera to pick up signs from the Boston dugout. Sources, however, said the Yankees denied the allegations — and MLB’s investigation found “insufficient evidence” to support the accusation, but they still found the Yankees had violated rules before this season.
Adding that the Yankees also “fully cooperated” with the investigation, Manfred said: “We learned that during an earlier championship season [prior to 2017] the Yankees had violated a rule governing the use of the dugout phone. No Club complained about the conduct in question at the time and, without prompting from another Club or my Office, the Yankees halted the conduct in question. Moreover, the substance of the communications that took place on the dugout phone was not a violation of any Rule or Regulation in and of itself. Rather, the violation occurred because the dugout phone technically cannot be used for such a communication.”