Over the weekend the Yankees were thoroughly depantsed by the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Boston swept the four-game series and effectively ended the AL East race. Aroldis Chapman blew a three-run lead in the series finale Sunday night and the Yankees eventually lost in extra innings, just to pour salt on the wound.
On Monday, YES Network play-by-play announcer Michael Kay called into his radio show while on vacation and went on an animated rant about the Yankees getting swept, particularly about the team's roster. Injuries forced Luke Voit and Shane Robinson to play in the all-important series. Kay seemed to blame Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier for being hurt. You can listen to the audio here. Here's a transcript (emphasis mine):
"I think that the whole thing started as a little pebble, turned into a snowball, and has gone into an avalanche. I mean, if you look at their record this year with Aaron Judge out of the lineup, it's under .500. He's an important part of what they do. And I thought (Giancarlo) Stanton did OK during the weekend, and all that. But, I mean when you're playing Luke Voit and Shane Robinson in important games -- you know, shame on the Yankees for not having the depth. But again, shame on guys like Jacoby Ellsbury for not getting healthy. Shame on Clint Frazier for not getting healthy. Again, you can't make them get healthy, but if those guys are healthy it's a completely different animal."
Yikes. Ellsbury has not played this season due to various injuries, including hip and back trouble, and it's possible he won't play at all this year. Frazier is out with post-concussion migraines that were originally thought to be his second concussion of the season. He suffered a concussion crashing into the outfield wall in spring training, returned weeks later, then the migraines popped up and he's been out since.
As for Kay, at best, those are a poor choice of words. "It's a shame Jacoby Ellsbury isn't healthy. It's a shame Clint Frazier isn't healthy," is more reasonable. That's not what Kay said though. And at worst, the Yankees' main play-by-play announcer is blaming two players -- two polarizing players who, fairly or unfairly, have been in the media's cross hairs over the years () -- for being hurt at a time the team needed them. Either way, it doesn't look good.
Kay attempted to walk back his comments later in the day by saying he being facetious:
Listening to the audio -- Kay's rant begins around the 10:30 mark here -- it sure doesn't sound like Kay was being facetious. It was an animated rant. Don't get me wrong, the Yankees played terribly over the weekend and deserve to get ripped for it. But saying shame on any player for getting hurt? Come on.
A few hours later, after Kay's comments made the rounds on social media, Frazier fired back on Twitter:
.@RealMichaelKay facetious or not, I don’t appreciate what you said today. i’m doing everything I can to get healthy so I can play symptom free ... so steer clear of publicly calling me out for not when we haven’t even had one convo about my concussion this year. #ShameOnYouBro— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) August 7, 2018
Kay, rather than apologize, stood his ground and insisted he never questioned Frazier's (or Ellsbury's) injury.
Clint, I would never question someone's injury. Never. In fact, I have gone out of my way to say how I felt for you this year and how badly I know how you want to play. It is beyond my comprehension that you would think I would minimize what you are going through. https://t.co/g4a0P0UYmh— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) August 7, 2018
I get the sense Kay will be clarifying his comments on his radio show at some point this week, possibly Tuesday.