Yankees’ Juan Soto in the crosshairs of Braves’ announcer O’Day

Yankees' Juan Soto is at bat against the Braves at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 2024.
ESPN
Joe Najarian
Saturday June 22, 2024

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Yankees superstar slugger Juan Soto is in the crosshairs of ex-Braves pitcher and current voice in the Atlanta booth Darren O’Day. This has added a new dimension to the ongoing Yankees-Braves rivalry.

A contentious moment during Friday’s game between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves, which concluded in an 8-1 Atlanta victory, centered on the Yankees outfielder. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Juan Soto disputed a strike call on a 0-2 slider from Braves pitcher Chris Sale that appeared to be just inside the plate.

Juan Soto’s disagreement with the home plate umpire drew a pointed response from former Braves pitcher Darren O’Day, who was commentating from the broadcast booth. O’Day expressed frustration with Soto’s protest, insisting that the pitch was a well-placed slider.

O’Day suggested that Juan Soto should have accepted the strikeout and reviewed the pitch on the iPad in the dugout rather than argue with the umpire. He emphasized that the strike zone was uniform for all players, implying that the slugger should not expect preferential treatment.

“That infuriates me watching Juan Soto complain to the umpire,” O’Day said from the Braves booth. “It’s definitely, it’s a perfectly executed slider down and away. Go back to the dugout, look at it on the iPad, and you struck out fair and square. It’s the same strike zone for you.”

This incident underscored the ongoing debates surrounding strike zone interpretation and interactions between players and umpires in Major League Baseball. Interestingly, O’Day was part of the Yankees in 2021.

Offensively, the Yankees faltered with key contributors Juan Soto and Aaron Judge going hitless in a combined eight plate appearances. In contrast, Atlanta’s lineup capitalized on opportunities, highlighted by home runs from Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, and Austin Riley, who together accounted for five RBIs.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 4: Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees looks on during the game against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on June 4, 2024, in New York, New York. Soto provided an update on his injury
Yankees

Fans aim O’Day for targeting Juan Soto

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