The New York Yankees’ playoff run doesn’t start until Game 1 of the ALDS on Tuesday, but any fan who turned on Cardinals-Phillies in the Wild Card Series on ABC Friday got a dose of familiarity.
The alternate Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team of Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez got promoted off the KayRod Cast and bumped into the mainstream, calling a pitcher’s duel between Zack Wheeler and Jose Quintana in The Lou.
Unsurprisingly, the viewers weren’t the only ones compelled to think of the Yankees when they heard Kay and A-Rod’s dulcet tones. The men themselves also had plenty of Yankee nuggets to drop during the broadcast, which — you guessed it — annoyed people who hate the Yankees.
The Phillies are a little Yankee-ish, after all. Didi Gregorius was there, but is no longer. Joe Girardi was there, but is no longer. Kevin Long? Still there. Rob Thomson? Extremely still there. Factor in the Cardinals’ “tradition,” unmatched by almost any team other than the Yankees, and you can almost see why the broadcast booth felt compelled to talk Bombers.
Still, people … weren’t thrilled. After all, the pair was on the national broadcast.
Yankees leak their way into A-Rod, Michael Kay’s Cardinals-Phillies broadcast
Among the Yankees topics covered were:
- Rob Thomson and Joe Girardi’s managerial carousel (both former Yankees)
- A-Rod’s 2009 teammate Jose Molina (because of his brothers Yadier and Bengie)
- A-Rod’s repeated references to “The Boss” George Steinbrenner, for whatever reason
- Don Mattingly waiting until his final year in 1995 to make the playoffs, in reference to Jean Segura snapping his personal postseason-less streak
Add in the fact that Kay started the game with about five or six preemptive, “Way backs!” and there was a clear recipe for crowd annoyance.
Midway through the game, it seemed like Rodriguez and Kay got the message, pivoting to a discussion in the middle of the fifth inning about how great a sports town Philadelphia is, something A-Rod learned first-hand from … watching Mo Cheeks, Dr. J and the 76ers as a kid. Hope that helped.
Add in a few A-Rod gaffes (calling Tommy Edman a “baseball player,” which … yeah, telling Kyle Schwarber to shorten up), and the first ABC baseball game in quite a while went about as well as Giancarlo Stanton being confronted with a slider low and away.
Dammit, just did it, too. Sorry.
Stay tuned for Game 2, when Kay and A-Rod will be joined in the booth by Aaron Judge, then attempt to patch themselves into some Saturday college football feeds.