Nestor Cortes turns nasty this time for umpire; fans cheer

Nestor Cortes is with Anthony Rizzo during a Yankees golf event.
John Allen
Wednesday March 29, 2023

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Fan favorite Nestor Cortes has shown he is good at tricking batters. But on Tuesday, he chose to make fun of the umpire with his pitch after he cited the Yankees left-handed starter for the violation of new MLB rules.

Nestor Cortes was pitching for the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on Tuesday. It was his last warm-up game before the 2023 MLB season begins on March 30. Against Jeimer Candelario, he opted to try a fastball. Nestor Cortes tried to throw the ball at Jeimer Candelario after the batter watched him for eight seconds, which is against the rules.

Nestor Cortes

Reed Basner, the home plate umpire, called the pitch dead right away because Nestor Cortes didn’t give Candelario enough time to pay attention to the pitcher. He gave the batter an automatic ball because of this. According to the new MLB rules, the pitcher has to make eye contact with the batter before throwing a pitch. As the Yankees starting pitcher, made a quick move, Candelario was still looking at home plate. Even though the batter hit the ball, the umpire stopped the play right away by calling a ball.

Nestor Cortes didn’t know why that call was made. He decided to mess with Candelario and the umpire. His reaction after the umpire’s call was epic and hilarious.

Since there were no runners on base, he went for the opposite of a quick pitch and threw a pitch that swayed and moved around.

With about six seconds left on the pitch clock and Candelario looking at him this time, Nestor Cortes did a windup routine that Yankees fans saw all last year. He lifted his leg and time slowed down to a complete stop. He turned back toward second base, looked down at the first base, and then throw the ball in.

Candelario continued to look at Nestor Cortes waiting for his pitch at the plate because he was required to throw a pitch within the pitch clock rules. But there were a few times last season when Cortes took too long to start throwing because the umpires called the play dead.

Nestor Cortes has always tried to throw strange pitches, like this one or sidearm, to keep batters guessing. In either case, the deception is a new part of his skill set.

But Nestor Cortes and every other pitcher in MLB this season must follow the pitch clock, which will be set to 15 seconds after each pitch when no one is on base and 20 seconds when runners are on base. The rule was made to speed up the game, and in spring training, it has been doing its job. The average length of a game has been two hours and 36 minutes, which is 25 minutes less than last year.

With the new MLB rules, every pitcher and batter will have to make changes. Even during spring training, the number of pitch clock violations has dropped dramatically. Some pitchers were also trying to find ways around the rules.

Rob Manfred, the commissioner of MLB, sent a memo to all 30 teams before Opening Day saying that there would be no big rule changes this season. Even though there have been ideas to change the pitch clock. So the rules about the pitch clock will stay the same, including the fact that batters have eight seconds to be “alert” of the pitcher or a strike will be called on them.

“On one hand, we are prepared to make adjustments based on input,” ESPN cited Commissioner Rob saying. “On the other hand, we want to give it a chance to see how it plays out exactly over a period of adjustment in some regular-season games before we make any significant alterations.”

So, the league will pay close attention to quick pitching since other pitchers, like Max Scherzer of the New York Mets, have tried to do so under the pitch clock rule. During one spring game, Yankees reliever Wandy Peralta achieved a strikeout in a matter of 20 seconds.

Nestor Cortes is training with his teammates at Yankees 2023 spring training camp on Feb 17.

Fans react to Nestor Cortes’ epic response

Fans could see that Nestor Cortes was laughing through the whole thing. They love that kind of small-mindedness from their much-loved Yankee. Even though it was an automatic ball, Cortes got Candelario to ground out.

That was the best possible answer, and Nestor Cortes had a lot of fun with it. Here’s what the fans thought about the moment on the pitch:

What do you think, leave a comment below?

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