Saturday, November 11, 2017

Red Sox Apple Watch
Sox Use Technology To Cheat (2017)

One of the most talked about games in sports is the Red Sox vs. Yankees baseball game. These two teams have debatably the biggest rivalry in sports today, and it all started with the curse that former Red Sox superstar put on his team after they traded him to the Yankees after the 1919 season. Babe Ruth's curse was used to explain the lack of World Series wins by the Red Sox every year after the trade was finalized. This being said 85 years later in the year of 2004 the Red Sox broke that curse when they finally won a world series. That historical win didn't stop the rivalry though. The past few years both teams have had their fair share of wins against each other, and now in 2017 they were both looking to come out on top. In late September the Red Sox, first place in their division, were getting ready to face the second placed Yankees. After four well played games by both teams the Yankees came out on top with a series win of three games to one. A few weeks after the two teams faced off, accusations were being made that the Red Sox used electronic devices to steal the Yankees hand signals. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman submitted a video that showed the coaches on the Red Sox using apple watches to relay the Yankees hand signals to their players on the field. The players were then able to determine the type of pitch that was going to be thrown, giving them a competitive advantage against their opponent. Red Sox president Dave Dombroski later confirmed these accusations against his team, but stated that he sees nothing wrong with what they did. The MLB commissioner followed up by saying that he is unsure the penalties the organization will face, and the use of electronic devices during a game will not be tolerated. This being said, not only did this decision by the team effect a lot of people, but by definition of the four phases of ethical theory Individualism, Utilitarianism, Kantainism, and Virtue theory, The Boston Red Sox have performed unethical behavior of cheating.

A stakeholder is anyone who has interest or concern in an organization. Stakeholders can be affected positively or negatively depending on the decisions that the organization makes. In almost every situation it's ethical for an organization to let its stakeholders know about decisions before they make them. This way if a stakeholder, like an investor, want to back out of the organization they can do so. In this case however, the Boston Red Sox proceeded to cheat during a rivalry game, and because of that many stakeholders, as well as their organization can be affected. From an organization stand point, the team could lose a lot of fans that believe what they did was wrong. This could then lead to less ticket sales as well as less viewers on television, which would result in cable companies not making as much money. These are just a few of many stakeholders that could possibly be effected in this situation, which is why its important to be ethical in a business environment. 

Boston Red Sox Stadium

Catcher Using Hand Signals
The individualist theory states that it's only goal is to make profit for its stakeholders. However in order to be considered ethical, the theory requires you to respect human rights as well as obey the rules and laws of the society. Throughout the past few years the Red Sox organization has been a powerhouse in the MLB making millions of dollars, and even winning a few World Series games. This being said whomever had anything invested in this organization was more than likely making money. However now that they have been caught cheating during a game, they could not only start to lose money for their stakeholders, but they also acted unethical according to Individualism because they did not follow the rules and laws of society. It is a rule in baseball that no electronic devices are allowed during the game and by the Red Sox breaking this rule, them as well as others, will have to pay for it.

Utilitarianism states that to be ethical you must promote happiness to all parties that will be affected. Happiness is the only virtue of value when dealing with this theory. This being said it is very clear that according to this theory the Red Sox acted unethically in this situation. For example in this situation a party that was affected was the fans to the team. Personally I am a fan of the Boston Red Sox who has purchased tickets to their games before. After this incident that has occurred, I am very upset with their decision to cheat during a game, and will think twice about purchasing tickets again. Now not only has the organization put themselves in jeopardy of losing money and attendance to games, but they have made fans unhappy, making their decision unethical according to Utilitarianism.  

Kantainism states that to be considered ethical an organization must make rational decisions in society. Also no business entity should feel they are exempt from the rules, and lastly the stakeholder’s needs as well as interests must be respected in order to be considered ethical under this rule. In this case the Red Sox are deemed unethical in every aspect of this theory. First the theory states that no business entity should feel exempt from the rules. In this case the Red Sox thought they were by disobeying the rule of no electronic devices during the time of play. Next the Red Sox disrespected their stakeholders needs and interests when they cheated because like stated before people who had money invested in this team could potentially lose that money now if the team loses fans and viewers. This being said the Boston Red Sox acted very unethical according to the Kantainism theory.

Virtue Theory
The virtue theory states that in order to be considered ethical an organization must follow four virtue characteristics. These characteristics are courage, honesty, temperance, and justice. The courage aspect of this theory means an organization must take chances and stand up for what they believe in. The honesty aspect means that the organization promises to be truthful to all parties involved in the decision. Next temperance means that the organization must develop realistic goals to accomplish, and lastly justice means the organization must work hard and be truthful while doing so. If all these characteristics are covered in a decision that an organization makes, then that decision is considered ethical according to the Virtue theory principles. Two out of these four characteristics that were broken the most by the Red Sox during this scandal were honesty and justice. It is clear that during their act of cheating they weren't honest to themselves, their stakeholders, or the rules of the game. To go along with this, the justice characteristic was broken when the Red Sox weren't truthful to the sport of baseball. Every sport has a set of rules that are made to be followed, and their act of cheating was not truthful to the sport itself making this organization unethical according to the Virtue theory.

Works Cited
 Haselton, Todd. “Red Sox Busted Using Apple Watch to Steal Signs from Yankees: NYT.” CNBC, CNBC, 6 Sept. 2017, 

 “Red Sox Used Apple Watches to Steal Signs from Yankees, Report Says.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 

 “United States History.” Babe Ruth, 

 “Red Sox Yankee Rivalry - The Greatest Rivalry in Baseball?” Sox and Pinstripes,
 Johnson, Robert, and Adam Cureton. “Kant's Moral Philosophy.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 7 July 2016,


  1. Great job on this blog Josh! This is very interesting how the red sox where able to steal signs with an apple watch. I also agree with what you stated under stakeholders.

  2. Good job on this ethical conservatory. You do a good job establishing how cheating affects all the different ethical theories. How the Red Sox's denied happiness, how it effects their stakeholders, and how they didn't follow the characteristics you outlined.