The Boston Red Sox’s use of an Apple Watch in the dugout turned into one of the season’s biggest stories, but it appears at least one coach from the Arizona Diamondbacks wasn’t paying attention.
Arizona coach and interpreter Ariel Prieto was spotted during Wednesday night’s wild-card game wearing an electronic watch of some sort. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on Thursday that Major League Baseball has launched an investigation into why Prieto was wearing the watch.
The Red Sox were fined during the season for their use of an electronic watch to steal signs during games against the New York Yankees. Commissioner Rob Manfred said at the time that any further use of electronic devices in the dugout by any major league club would result in more serious sanctions than a monetary fine, including a possible loss of draft picks.
It has not been confirmed if Prieto’s watch is Apple branded or is even a smart watch connected to the Internet at all. It could be, say, a digital fitness tracker. Whatever it is, the D-backs released a statement to the The Post saying it was just an oversight on Prieto’s part:
“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.”
A #Diamondbacks spokesman tells me that the team has been contacted about the investigation and is cooperating fully
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) October 5, 2017
Even if there were no nefarious intentions, this is a really bad look for Prieto and the Diamondbacks. It’s one thing for the Red Sox to explain their way out of a handful of games during a 162-game season, quite another to give the appearance of impropriety during nine innings of do-or-die baseball.
The Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 to advance to a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers that begins on Friday.
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