This morning, a day after news broke that the Red Sox allegedly used technology to steal signs from the Yankees, I called up executives from both teams to ask about how the smartwatch-assisted, sign-stealing operation came to be and what they thought would and should happen next.
First, I called the Red Sox bosses. This is what six execs said in response to variations of, “Can I ask you a few questions, like how this sign-stealing strategy was conceived and whose idea was it? Is there any other insight you can give me?”
Owner John Henry:
Chairman Tom Werner:
“Can you call my office, thank you.” [Hangs up]
CEO Emeritus Larry Lucchino:
“No, I really don’t know any of the details and I’m not the appropriate person to talk to. I’m in an emeritus position now, so I don’t have any independent details ... Okay, well I wish you luck and that’s really all I should say.”
Vice Chairman David Ginsberg:
“I have no idea who you are. How’d you get this number? I have no idea who you are and I can’t be of any help.”
Manager John Farrell (?):
“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.” [Hangs up]
Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Allard Baird:
“I don’t have any insight into that and I can’t help you with any of that. What’s your name again? Okay, Laura, I can’t help you with any of that.”
Then I called the Yankees brass. They’re far more reluctant than Red Sox highers-up to answer their phones for whatever reason, but I did get in touch with former Red Sox player and current VP of baseball operations Tim Naehring.
“Wait, who is this? From Deadspin? Alright. Personally, I really don’t have a whole lot of comments on the whole issue, quite honestly. I’ve been briefed on it and now we’re waiting to see what happens with the commissioners office ... I would think that Brian Cashman is a better person to contact in regards to communication with league office.”
I asked whether he has any personal opinions on how the league should handle this.
“I do not. I mean obviously, it’s pretty well stated that use of electronic devices is not allowed. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the rules that are in place and we have followed those with utmost respect, so we’ll wait and see what happens in regard to this.”
What does he think about the Red Sox filing their own complaint alleging that the Yankees use a camera from their television network for the sole purpose of stealing signs themselves?
“It’s the first I’ve ever heard of that and would strongly disagree with anyone accusing our major league club of utilizing cameras to gain any type of competitive edge. It’s not happening.”
There you have it.