When Aaron Judge, Patty Judge, Roger Maris Jr. and the entire New York Yankees roster watched the 61st home run of No. 99’s remarkable season fly over the left-field wall Wednesday night, the last thing on their minds was what former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had to say about the moment.
Schilling made sure that changed on Thursday, though, percolating an old beef with Yankees announcer Michael Kay and pushing it to the forefront on Dan Dakich’s Outkick radio show. Of course he did.
Schilling was, uh, not a fan of the way Kay handled the moment. He hasn’t been a fan of journalists in general for a while — at least, not since he endorsed lynching them back in 2016 — but Kay, specifically, seems to have gotten his goat lately for inserting himself into the history-making moment.
For many personal reasons, Schilling clearly didn’t vibe with Judge earning a place alongside Roger Maris in Yankees lore.
But he’s probably not the only one who felt this way about how Kay handled his shot at history.
Curt Schilling thinks Yankees’ Michael Kay went overboard on Aaron Judge call
Kind of surprising a man this obsessed with collecting Nazi memorabilia couldn’t figure out what all the furor was about.
“He could’ve said everything he said after the fact,” Schilling continued, claiming Kay broke the cardinal rule that he himself had learned during his broadcasting career. “Everybody watching the game knew exactly what happened.”
Schilling, then, admitted his personal bias, claiming Kay had turned around and “said some things that weren’t true” about him, calling the Yankees announcer a “d**k.” Well … alright!
The bottom line is, the Kay call was most definitely busy, but with eight days of anticipation cresting in a tie-breaking, late-inning, record-tying shot, there was plenty of Yankees history to cram into one jog around the bases.
There’s also the home/road factor. Kay would’ve probably let the moment breathe if he knew there were a Yankee Stadium crowd behind him that could fill in the gaps. Instead, it was a weird Toronto crowd, and he didn’t really know how much adulation to expect. The Dodger Stadium crowd that watched Albert Pujols’ 700th blast? They filled the air perfectly. These Jays fans, who hated the Yankees when they woke up yesterday and still do now? Not so much.
It’s fair to quibble with Kay’s call, but Schilling admitted that most of his issues were personal; he even took a dig at “today’s announcers,” as if he weren’t very much one of them until 2016, when he was fired by ESPN for … oh, what was it … can’t quite put my finger on it … oh, well, there was probably a very good reason.
Kay’s call was crowded, but the Rizzuto touch was an excellent flourish, and besides, he’ll have potentially three more chances in the Bronx to get it right this weekend. If Judge hits 62 in a home game, it’ll be the baseball equivalent of a layup, otherwise known as what the Yankees should’ve done to Schilling on a bum ankle in Game 6: a bunt.