The morning after the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game, it was reported Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto was under MLB investigation due to wearing an electronic watch. Such a device, and others with wireless internet capabilities, are not permitted in the dugout.
The Boston Red Sox were fined an undisclosed amount earlier this season after the New York Yankees submitted a complaint and evidence an Apple Watch was utilized to steal signs. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred warned of harsher penalties moving forward for teams who were caught.
Although that seemingly would apply to the Diamondbacks if they were attempting to gain an advantage, Prieto’s wearing of the watch has been deemed a simple mistake by the organization, via MLB.com:
“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.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo relayed an identical message during media availability at Dodger Stadium. “I can say is it was just an honest mistake,” he said. “We asked, found out, and talked to Ariel, and that’s what he told us. And in no way did it impact the game, and in no way is it going to impact the game [Friday].
“It’s just not something we do or believe in. We’re trying to steer our direction and steer our ship to tomorrow’s game. So we’re aware of what’s going on and we’re cooperating. We’re doing exactly what MLB is asking us to do.”
Signs point to the Diamondbacks avoiding MLB punishment, but they presumably will be watched closely during the NL Division Series. Though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts won’t concern himself with the matter.
“The commissioner was very clear on what is supposed to be in the dugout, what devices are being used or allowable,” Roberts said. “So I’m sure they’ve got it — they’ll take care of it. So, yeah. I’m not going to concern myself with the Apple Watch in the Diamondbacks dugout.”
MLB announced prior to Game 1 of the NLDS that Prieto was fined an undisclosed amount for wearing the Apple Watch. The money will be donated to Puerto Rico hurricane relief efforts.