The biggest controversy of Major League Baseball's offseason has now leaked into the world of the Red Sox.
Multiple sources who were with the Red Sox during their World Series-winning 2018 season have told The Athletic that the team illegally used the video room to assist in stealing sign-sequencing from other teams. This follows MLB's ongoing investigation into the 2017 Houston Astros, who were allegedly banging on trash cans in order to relay signs to hitters.
The sources said that the process -- which included personnel going from the area where replay video is viewed (just in back of the dugout at Fenway Park) up to the dugout where opponents' sign sequence was relayed to runners on first or second base -- did not play a factor in the postseason due to wary opponents and Major League Baseball implementing workers to monitor the video room throughout that October.
"It’s cheating,” one person who was with the 2018 Red Sox told The Athletic. "Because if you’re using a camera to zoom in on the crotch of the catcher, to break down the sign system, and then take that information and give it out to the runner, then he doesn’t have to steal it."
It is believed other teams might have implemented similar methods but The Athletic could not confirm those in the manner they were able to when it came to the Red Sox.
"You got a bunch of people who are really good at cheating and everybody knows that each other’s doing it," one person with the 2018 Red Sox told The Athletic. "It’s really hard for anybody to get away with it at that point. ... If you get a lion and a deer, then the lion can really take advantage of the deer. So there’s a lot of deers out there that weren’t paying attention throughout the season. In the playoffs, now you’re going against a lion."
The report goes on to explain that while Major League Baseball tightened security when it comes to monitoring video rooms during the 2019 season there was a flaw in that system, with many of the monitors easily swayed by those they were supposed to be watching.
"We had (the monitors) in our back pocket," a Red Sox person told The Athletic. "If we wanted to whisper something or they walked out, then we could do something if we needed to."