Did an in-game MLB interview cause a player to miss a catch?

June 8, 2024
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During last night’s Major League Baseball telecast on Apple TV Plus, a grounder bounced off the right hand of Los Angeles Dodger player Enrique “Kiké” Hernández and right into his crotch. That gave New York Yankees batter Gleyber Torres enough time to get to first. Does that happen all the time? Sure. It’s just that Hernández was in the middle of an interview when it happened.

Game announcer Dontrelle Willis had just asked Hernández, who was wearing a two-way mic, about his team’s close-knit relationship when Torres hit the ball toward third base. Hernández ran to catch it and simply misjudged how the ball would bounce. ESPN reports that when asked after the game whether the interview had anything to do with the error, Hernández said, “Maybe a little bit,” he said, “but I think I let the ball eat me up. It had a weird hop.”

Even if he did feel the softball question caused him to catch a hardball to the groin, Hernández has no intention of turning down those in-game interviews — when he was asked after the game, he said, “no, because we’re getting paid.” Indeed they are! The Major League Baseball Players Association’s collective agreement (PDF) stipulates that players get $10,000 per game or $15,000 for the postseason, with the money coming out of a joint fund between the MLB and the association.

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