Major League Baseball bans the Apple Watch? Not quite

Technically Incorrect: The MLB reportedly told Kansas City Royals' manager Ned Yost he must not wear the Apple Watch it gave him during games. MLB now insists this isn't the case.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Ned Yost is apparently keen on his Apple Watch. Kansas City Star/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The right hand sometimes doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

Especially when the left hand is wearing an Apple Watch.

This appeared to be the case, at least, with Major League Baseball. A sport that's curiously progressive in so many ways had reportedly slapped Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost on the wrist.

His alleged crime? Wearing his Apple Watch during games.

Major League Baseball bans smartphones in the dugout. This is quite sensible. It means that the likes of Red Sox hitter Pablo Sandoval "="" girls="" on="" instagram"="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="eaa4f0b5-d4b1-4929-9a2d-039befdcbdd4" slug="red-sox-star-sandoval-benched-after-liking-woman-on-instagram-during-game" link-text="have to go to the toilet in order to " section="news" title="Red Sox star Sandoval benched after 'liking' woman on Instagram during game" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"eaa4f0b5-d4b1-4929-9a2d-039befdcbdd4","slug":"red-sox-star-sandoval-benched-after-liking-woman-on-instagram-during-game","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"culture"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Culture","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> .

However, the Kansas City Star's Andy McCullough took to Twitter to declare that Yost had been questioned about the Apple Watch he wears during games. Now, however, this appears to have been only a reminder that he absolutely must not have it linked to his phone.

Major League Baseball told MarketWatch that the watch isn't banned. It merely wanted to be sure that Yost wasn't using it to gain nefarious advantage by accessing some sort of data.

Was he ever likely to lift it to his ear, looking very silly in the process? It seems not. Indeed, Yost told McCullough: "When you're away from your phone, all it is is a watch." And, some might say, not a terribly good one.

Yost insisted his phone isn't in his pocket in the dugout, hence rendering the Watch no more than its name.

Major League Baseball did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. It would be odd, though, if an organization so deeply concerned about cheating merely took Yost's word for it. Some observers will surely be paying attention to any bulges in his pockets. Will there be official searches?

A secondary irony is that Yost actually got the Watch from MLB as a gift for being the American League manager in the All-Star Game. He seems quite keen on it.

As McCullough added: "Away from dugout, Yost said he only uses the Watch to catalog his exercises goals and such during the day. He can also check the weather."

Well he could check the weather by merely looking up at the sky, but that would be a little too oldy-worldy.

It's a relief, therefore, that the Watch isn't banned.

One day, perhaps every manager and player will have a constant stream of data. There's surely a hitter or two who could take calls on it while waiting for the pitcher to adjust his cap, tug at his pants, turn toward first base, shrug off at least three of the catcher's signs and spit several times onto the mound.

(Via The Sporting News)

Update, 1:45 p.m. PT: Clarifies that the MLB told MarketWatch the Apple Watch is not banned during games, despite earlier reports suggesting it was.