Major League Baseball may be able to avoid an Apple Watch controversy this season.
MLB announced on Monday that it’s partnering with Mitel, a business communications company, to improve the league’s communications technology on and off the field.
The improvements will convert the existing platforms for dugout, bullpen, video review room and press box communications into a common, unified system.
It also provides the league the capability to record and monitor communications on phone lines, which would help MLB monitor for improper sign stealing, per Sports Business Journal’s Eric Fisher.
MLB says Diamondbacks coach didn’t use Apple Watch to cheat
Last season, MLB fined the Red Sox an undisclosed amount for using an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees. While stealing signs is not illegal, using technology to do so is against the rules.
The Yankees were also fined after a separate investigation determined they violated a rule involving the use of a dugout phone in a prior season.
Sports scandals throughout history
The Diamondbacks were also fined after a coach was spotted wearing an Apple Watch during the team’s wild-card win over the Rockies. However, after an investigation, the league found that it was not used to steal signs.
MLB’s multi-year partnership with Mitel also makes the company the presenting sponsor of league-wide instant replay reviews.
Diamondbacks call electronic device in dugout an ‘honest mistake’
The league-wide systems are scheduled to be in place for all 30 teams by Opening Day on March 29.
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