Major League Baseball may have another issue with smartwatches on its hands.
The league is investigating the potential use of a smartwatch by Arizona Diamondbacks coach/translator Ariel Prieto during Wednesday’s National League wild-card game against the Colorado Rockies, according to the New York Post.
Wearing a smartwatch violates baseball’s rules regarding the use of electronic devices.
Prieto told AZSports that he made a mistake by wearing his Apple Watch in the dugout during Wednesday’s game, but his reasoning for doing so dealt with routine rather than use.
“My watch has been in airplane mode for about two days,” Prieto said. “If they want to take my Apple Watch, take my phone, they can do it. I wasn’t doing anything. I know it’s a rule, I know I missed that, but if they want to investigate, they can have it.”
Prieto told the website that he apologized to manager Torey Lovullo for failing to leave the watch in the clubhouse.
Prieto was seen in the dugout wearing a watch similar to ones worn by Boston Red Sox personnel in August. Major League Baseball revealed last month that the Red Sox had used the watches to steal signs from New York Yankees catchers during games between the rivals this season.
The Red Sox stopped the practice and cooperated with the league when they were alerted that they were under investigation. The team was fined an undisclosed amount, with commissioner Rob Manfred issuing the following statement at the time:
“All 30 clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks,” Manfred said in a statement at the time.
Prieto is a former pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The Diamondbacks won Wednesday night’s game 11-8 to advance to a National League Division Series matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers.