MLB

D-backs coach Prieto didn't break Apple Watch rules

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Arizona Diamondbacks coach/translator Ariel Prieto did not use his Apple Watch for any "baseball-related communication" during his team's National League wild-card game against the Colorado Rockies, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday.

Prieto and the Diamondbacks, however, have been fined an undisclosed amount for having the device in the dugout during Wednesday's game, which Arizona won 11-8. The money from the fines will be donated by the Office of the Commissioner to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, MLB said in its statement.

Wearing a smartwatch violates baseball's rules regarding the use of electronic devices.

MLB said in a statement that its department of investigations "forensically examined" Prieto's watch and revealed no evidence that it was used for "any purpose in the dugout."

Prieto, who is a former big league pitcher, is an extra coach who also serves as interpreter for the Diamondbacks.

He told AZSports on Thursday that he made a mistake by wearing his Apple Watch in the dugout, 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.

Updated October 6, 2017


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