The Red Sox, you might have heard, have been implicated in a bit of skullduggery. A Tuesday story in The New York Times detailed the allegations, which had the Red Sox using an Apple Watch to ferry Yankees signs from video-replay personnel to trainers to players on the field during a series at Fenway Park last month. The Red Sox have copped to at least some of the theft—and promptly filed a counter-complaint of their own, alleging that the Yankees have been doing much the same with a YES Network camera in the Bronx.
If you follow, the Red Sox’s defense of their own cheating is that everybody* was doing it, so why should they be punished? That is to say: Everyone—everyone—knew that the whole entire league was bending the rules, and yet it’s Boston that is (probably!) going to get penalized?!
(*OK, just the Yankees, but mark my words—we are about 0.3 news cycles from getting to “everybody”; Jeffrey Loria probably has Siri looped into the Miami Gatorade cooler or something.)
Say, doesn’t that line of logic sound just a little bit familiar?
Ladies and gentlemen … [clears throat] ... SPYGATE HAS RETURNED! IT HAS COME BACK TO BREATHE ITS ROTTEN RULE BOOK BREATH ON THE BACKS OF OUR NECKS ONCE MORE! THE GHOST OF COMMENT SECTIONS PAST IS ALIVE AND HERE TO RATTLE ITS DEFINITELY OBJECTIVELY PERSECUTED CHAINS IN OUR FACE! THE WHOLE WORLD HAS IT OUT FOR BOSTON, WHOSE DENIZENS WILL! NOT! GO! QUIETLY! LONG LIVE SPYGATE, THE ONCE AND FUTURE SPORTING SCANDAL!
New version of ‘Sweet Caroline’! Stealin’ signals never looked so good: pic.twitter.com/X5ALwUGYpM— The Ringer (@ringer) September 6, 2017
Let me be clear: I love everything about this big, dumb scandal. We are currently just barely on its precipice. If the past is any indication, this is just Day 1 of, I don’t know, 710 or so. The preferred retort of Spygate 1.0’s defenders was that everybody was stealing signs in the NFL, and it was just positively messed up if not outright conspiratorial that the poor (yes) misbegotten (yes) Patriots should be punished for Bill Belichick’s enthusiastic, red-handed engagement in the practice. That set us up for 545 days of Deflategate. We already have amateur forensic counterevidence from New England fans, so think about what we still have ahead of us! The suspensions! The appeals! The furious and possibly deleted team and player statements on Twitter! The inevitable response by Apple! The yelling on sports talk shows! The ESPN sidebars! The apoplectic talk radio hosts! The comment sections—my god, the comment sections! The untold hordes of furious Boston Twitter eggs, just waking now from their brief, between-sporting-persecutions slumber! We just have so much ahead of us, and it will be anchored by chatter about the functionality of a vanity Fitbit, the frantic press conferences of John Farrell, and the statements of Brock Holt and meathead’s meathead Dustin Pedroia. We do not deserve this. We are getting it anyway.
I want to cover this controversy in diamonds and take it on vacation. I want to make it a mimosa and offer it any kind of fruit juice mixer it would like. I want it to text me when it’s out late so I can send an Uber to whatever street corner it finds itself on and bring it to my house, where I will rub its tired feet. I want to frame my precious moments with it—the news alert that made me guffaw so hard I almost dropped a milkshake on my cat, the moment I read Farrell’s kind-of-not-really-at-all defense of the signal theft, this tweet—in funky upcycled frames from Etsy and put them on the wall across from my toilet, so I can really get a good look at them. I want it to tell me about its spiritual beliefs and first-grade teacher and that time a spider crawled into its sleeping bag at summer camp. I want to buy it mink, unless it thinks mink is unethical, in which case I want to put it in a big vegan leather onesie and tell it that it looks just fabulous. What a clever and thoughtful controversy.
This whole thing is perfect. It is just getting started. Long live Spygate 2.0.