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Boston Red Sox used Fitbit to steal signs, not Apple Watch, reporter claims

Recent accusations that the Boston Red Sox used an Apple Watch to steal signs from the New York Yankees were misguided, since the team may have actually used a Fitbit instead, according to one reporter.

A Fitbit Blaze.

A Fitbit Blaze.


"Turns out there was no Apple Watch involved in Red Sox sign stealing. It was a Fitbit product according to a major league source," said the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. It's not clear which model would have been employed, but only a few — such as the Blaze and Surge — can display smartphone notifications, which would presumably be needed to pass on information given the limits of pre-Ionic Fitbit products.

Cafardo's claim is questionable, as it contradicts original reports from the New York Times, which said that not only was there footage of an Apple Watch in action, but that the Red Sox admitted to using the product.

One possibility is an over-generous use of the term "Apple Watch" to refer to any iPhone-connected wearable. Misidentification might also be an issue, given how similar some smartwatches can look, and the fact that many people don't follow wearable technology that closely.

On its own, stealing sings from catchers isn't against MLB rules. Transmitting them digitally is, as is using some other forms of equipment like binoculars.

The scandal has been been an unintended promotional boost for Apple, which not long after revealed the Apple Watch Series 3, shipping Sept. 22. The product is the first Watch with LTE, meaning users can leave their iPhone at home — or in the locker room — and still have access to voice, text and other data-reliant functions.