Ian Kinsler spent half of a season with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, and he admits the team had a solid system in place for decoding opponents’ signals when he got there. However, Kinsler insists that everything he saw the Red Sox doing and took part in himself was within the rules.
Kinsler told 1310 The Ticket in Dallas this week that what the Red Sox were doing during their World Series season in 2018 was “not anything close to what’s going on (in Houston).”
“When I was injected into that team in the middle of the season, it was a lot like the Rangers clubs I was on, where it was just a very tight-knit group and their system was flawless,” Kinsler said, as transcribed by Chris Cotillo of MLive.com. “They just had a very good system of relaying from second base to home plate. That was it. Honestly. We’ll see what happens with the commissioner’s report.”
The Red Sox have been accused of illegally using the video replay room at Fenway Park to study opponents’ signals. Kinsler seemed to acknowledge that players used the video room, but he implied that the information was readily available and almost impossible to ignore.
“If there’s a video and you’re going to check out your at-bat and while you’re checking out your at-bat, there’s a runner on second base also, and you look through your at-bat to see your personal flaws and what you’re trying to fix for the next time … I’m going to go back again and check out the signs and see if I can crack them,” Kinsler said. “If I can, I can. If I can’t, I can’t.”
Kinsler said the Red Sox could no longer “run our system” in the playoffs because good teams are constantly changing their signs. The 2018 postseason was also the same time MLB began monitoring video rooms with on-site personnel, so the practice may have officially ended there.
The issue with the Red Sox will likely be whether or not they continued engaging in illegal practices even after being warned by MLB. However, it sounds like the concept of using the video room to study signs was common across baseball, which is likely why the league began monitoring the rooms more closely. Everything we know about MLB’s investigation into the Red Sox makes it sound like they are facing far less serious consequences than the Astros.