Mookie Betts Admits Red Sox Used Video to Steal Signs in 2018

The 2017 Houston Astros may not have been the only team using video to steal signs.

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts spoke to reporters recently and acknowledged that the 2018 Red Sox were also using video reports to gain a competitive advantage.

"Yeah," Betts told Dylan Hernández of the Los Angeles Times."Everybody was."

The Red Sox won the World Series at the end of the 2018 season, and were subsequently subject to an MLB investigation. Commissioner Rob Manfred did penalize the team for their sign stealing efforts, while acknowledging the system was nowhere near as extensive as the 2017 Astros.

Manfred also said the Red Sox didn’t use video during their World Series win.

It’s also not particularly surprising that the Red Sox were using video, considering Alex Cora became the team’s manager in 2018.

Previous reports showed that he bragged about his efforts in Houston the previous season.


That said, the admission by Betts is still a bit surprising.

Sign Stealing More Common Than Realized

The conversation with Betts started because the Dodgers hired the video coordinator from the 2018 season to help with hitting planning.

He previously served a suspension for using video to occasionally relay signs to runners on second base.

Betts explained that the system was infrequently used, and only possible with a runner at second. He also specifically denied that the system was “cheating."

"No!" Betts said. "This is what I'm trying to say. People are trying to make it like we're cheating. Give us credit. We had a good team. Give us some credit. We had Cy Young winners. We had MVPs. We had Gold Glove winners. We had Silver Sluggers. We had all that. Take that into account."

Generally stealing signs from second base has been considered acceptable as part of baseball’s unwritten rules. But using video takes that process to a different level.

There’s no doubt that the Red Sox were nowhere near as sophisticated or comprehensive in their sign stealing efforts as the Astros.

But by admitting they used video, Betts definitely will increase skepticism of the late 2010’s era of baseball.

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Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC