Update 10/6, 3:20 pm MT:
Major League baseball on Friday released a statement on their investigation of Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto. Anyone who was holding out hope that the punishment would somehow benefit the Rockies will be disappointed. The investigation into his Apple watch and cell phone revealed no wrongdoing as far as signs or other game conduct. He was fined, along with the Diamondbacks, for violating MLB rules, but it appears no further action will be taken.
MLB statement on the Ariel Prieto/Apple Watch ordeal from the wild-card game: pic.twitter.com/RaNkmt9bpv— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) October 6, 2017
Update 1:51 pm MT:
The Diamondbacks have admitted that it was indeed an electronic watch that was on Prieto’s wrist. However, they are denying that they used it to gain an unfair advantage. At this point there should definitely be a punishment levied on the Diamondbacks as the watch itself is a violation. The investigation is also far from over as far as any additional implications as there is no reason to take the Diamondbacks word on this.
If you had the thought last night that the Diamondbacks were hitting against the Rockies like they knew what was coming, you may not have been wrong. The New York Post is reporting that MLB has launched an investigation into why one of the Arizona coaches was wearing what appears to be an electronic watch.
Whether or not the possibly illegal electronic equipment was used to gain an unfair advantage appears to be the subject of the investigation. However, the mere presence of an electronic watch in the dugout violates MLB rules. Those rules were recently reasserted in a statement by Rob Manfred after the Red Sox were caught using an electronic watch to help steal signs from the New York Yankees. While the Red Sox escaped with only a monetary fine, Manfred warned other teams that the presence of similar equipment in the dugout would result in more substantial punishment.
Combine that statement with the fact that this happened in a one-game, winner-take-all playoff that ended one team’s playoff hopes while another got to advance possibly through cheating, it makes it difficult to figure out what sort of punishment would be adequate to not just prevent this from happening again but also be a sufficient punishment for the team that benefited. There would also be the question of if the Rockies organization should receive some sort of recompense for possibly being cheated out of a fair chance to advance in the playoffs.