Baseball coach fined for wearing Apple Watch during game

Major League Baseball fines Arizona's coach for sporting a smart watch in the dugout. The incident follows the Boston Red Sox's wearable-related scandal.


A Major League Baseball coach has been fined for illegally wearing his Apple Watch in the dugout during a playoff game.

Gotcha! Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto was fined for wearing his Apple Watch during a playoff game.

Gotcha! Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto was fined for wearing his Apple Watch during a playoff game. screenshot courtesy CBS Sports

An investigation cleared Arizona Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto of any cheating, but he and the team were each fined an undisclosed amount Friday because he wore the smart watch during the Dbacks' National League wild card game Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. 

The penalties come about a month after the Boston Red Sox were fined by the MLB for using a wrist-worn device to steal signs during games with archrival the New York Yankees, who filed a formal complaint. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that though there's no rule against stealing signs, using electronic devices and certain wearables like a watch to do so is a violation. 

The MLB prohibits players and coaches from wearing various electronic communication devices, such as Fitbits and smart watches, on the field during games. Other gadgets are allowed. Teams can use iPads containing statistics, scouting reports and video. Last season, the league OK'd the use of the Motus Baseball Sleeve, which tracks throwing, and the Zephyr Bioharness, which monitors heart and breathing rates.

League officials said in a statement that they examined Prieto's Apple Watch and found no evidence it was used for "any baseball-related communication" during the game. The fines will go toward Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico, the league said. 

The Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 11-8 in the game, to advance to the divisional playoffs.

It's a safe bet Prieto won't be wearing his watch when the Dbacks take on the LA Dodgers starting Friday.

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