We can't really blame him.
Braves announcer Joe Simpson has been on the wrong side of some controversial on-air comments of late, suggesting last week that the Dodgers batting practice uniforms were somehow an insult to baseball. On Tuesday, he furthered his ignorance by suggesting Juan Soto might not really be 17.
“He is … if he’s 19, he has certainly got his man growth,” Simpson said during the Fox Sports South broadcast. “He is big and strong.”
Age fraud hasn’t been a thing in Latin America in nearly a decade. But then again Joe Simpson is stuck in the past, so it’s not a surprise that he proffers this sort of garbage. Ignore it.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 8, 2018
Juan Soto is 19. Period. Full stop. And he’s doing things the game never has seen before. https://t.co/V5iWMkkleF
In the second game of the doubleheader, Simpson apologized for his comments and the context in which he made them. This very well could have been influenced by Nats GM Mike Rizzo, who sought out and confronted Simpson in between the two games.
“I had a definite reaction,” Rizzo said. “I handled it face to face, privately with him. I believe he understood my stance on his comments.”
Rizzo's words for Simpson must have been strong, because the apology was swift and sincere.
“If you were with us in Game 1, you might have heard me make a comment off the top of my head about if he’s 19,” Simpson said on the broadcast. “Well, he is. He’s bonafide 19. And he is a full-grown man. He is strong. And he is one heck of a player. You might well just write his name in on the Rookie of the Year award right now.”
And that's all she wrote. Props to Rizzo for standing up for his rookie.