We all know last night’s game sucked. I’m not going to talk about that. Instead, allow me to be a little more conspiratorial.
By now, you’ve probably heard Luis Severino did not start warming up in the bullpen until 8 minutes before the start of the game. That is VERY unusual. As John Flaherty pointed out in the YES postgame, pitchers begin their warmups about 30 minutes prior to games.
So what happened? I’ll tell you…
Luis Severino and Gary Sanchez thought the game started at 8. Many are hypothesizing this, but no one seems to have made a connection I uncovered. Here it is:
After the game 2 win in Boston, there was a day off. Sunday night, a peculiar thing occurred on the set of the Fox Sports postgame. Gary Sanchez FaceTimed Alex Rodriguez. At 12:10 am, technically game day, @MLBONFOX tweeted a video of what transpired. Here is the text:
12:10 am - @MLBONFOX tweets a video of Alex Rodriguez receiving a FaceTime call from Gary Sanchez.
Tweet: “In the middle of tonight’s show, @Yankees’ Gary Sanchez decided to FaceTime @AROD.
He was trying to find out what time New York plays tomorrow”
Burkhardt: If you’re on set with the guys I’m on set with, three of the greatest sluggers of all time, you never know what’s gonna happen, so Alex decides to FaceTime Gary Sanchez, who hit a ball to the moon in Boston yesterday. Gary, that ball’s still going. He’s on the phone right now.
Rodriguez: And Kevin, he’s trying to find out what time the game is tomorrow. So we’ll give you the starting time, Papi [Sanchez]. [Rodriguez assumedly already provided him with a time]
Ortiz: Don’t be late!
Rodriguez: You just keep hitting home runs, because I’m gonna bet against this guy [Ortiz].
Ortiz: A big bet. Ok, be late!
Rodriguez: We’ll talk to you later, Papi [Sanchez].
Even here, the context is a bit shaky. The tweet says Sanchez called AROD, but Burkhardt says the opposite. No way AROD is going to call someone in the middle of a broadcast (it is AROD, but still). I’ve got to think Burkhardt misspoke and Sanchez was the one calling. That’s why it was such a funny thing. I retweeted it because it was silly.
One thing was clear though, Gary Sanchez did not know what time the game was. This is where things get strange. I’m sure occasionally a player forgets what time the game is, but why do you have to call a former teammate about it. Shouldn’t Gary have just texted a current player or Boone?
My first instinct, because I am not the biggest Boone fan, was Boone is much less approachable than we thought. Remember, Cashman heralded him as a tremendous communicator. I thought this could be insight into what life is really like in the locker room.
Then I thought, even if that’s the case, why didn’t he just text Judge, Gardner, etc.? The most logical conclusion is that Gary called Rodriguez to talk hitting, and also asked when the game was. Not as exciting, I know. We will never know what Rodriguez told him, but it is very possible Gary was given incorrect information and then relayed that to Severino on game day since they have to be in the bullpen together. This is plausible because, as I mentioned before, Flaherty said pitchers start warming up 30 minutes prior to a game. When did Severino enter the bullpen? Right around 30 minutes prior to 8 o’clock.
You might ask, why wasn’t Gary late then? Well, as a hitter, you have set batting practice and stretching times, so he would need to be out there anyways. Starting pitchers, on the other hand, have their own routines.
After the game, the media went wild with this storyline. Rothschild, Severino, and Boone were all asked about it. Here are the transcripts from those conversations:
– Severino interview
TBS – Did you warmup later than usual?
Severino – I mean, if my pitching coach said that to you, you can believe it. But he’s not always in my bullpen, so how does he know what’s going on? I came out 20 minutes before the game like I usually do. I don’t know why he was saying that. I don’t know who that guy is either.
TBS – So there was no confusion as to what time this game started?
Severino – No. For a game like this, you have to remember what time it is.
TBS – There’s video of you getting to the bullpen 8 minutes before the game started.
Severino – I always go to the bullpen 10 or 8 minutes before the game.
– Rothschild statement
He does a lot inside then comes out a little bit later than most starters. But he left the bullpen, he had faced two hitters with signs. He had done his complete long toss. And before that, went into the bullpen and did the routine that he normally does and actually warmed up pretty well. And he didn’t rush to get in or any of that stuff. He was able to sit down for three or four minutes and go out.
– Boone statement
I’m not saying, I’m saying he had his, he had plenty of warmup. He had what he intended to go down there and get done. And Larry said he was able to get through his, his normal routine where he faces a couple hitters and everything, so it wasn’t an issue.
This is the biggest crock of bull I’ve heard in a while. NO WAY he got everything done. I'd like to point out Boone stumbled over his words quite a bit for a guy without a stutter. Also, it is clear he and Larry had a conversation about this.
Our very own Jomboy was at the game and attested to the fact Severino never long-tossed. In fact, Jomboy said in the postgame podcast he and Joez McFly were questioning where Severino was.
Sevy is lying when he says he goes to the bullpen 8-10 minutes prior to every game. ESPECIALLY when you’re the home team! He probably goes 20-30 minutes before the game. When Rothschild reminds him it is a 7:40 start, Sevy begins to throw 2 minutes later. This indicates he now has a real sense of urgency. I truly believe Sevy thought it was an 8pm start time until Rothschild told him otherwise.
Some may accurately point out his velocity wasn’t bad. However, velocity doesn’t diminish if you’re not warm. The first few pitches in the bullpen should be almost the same as in-game pitches. Warming up is more helpful in creating stamina and making your pitches sharp. Sevy was not sharp and looked gassed much sooner than usual.
Regardless of who told Gary and/or Sevy what, this is a failure on the organization to not have its players ready for a playoff game. Absolutely unacceptable.