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Veteran play-by-play announcer and The Voice of the New York YankeesMichael Kay turned down an offer to cover Friday night’s potentially historic game against the Boston Red Sox amid reports that Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) is trying to work out a deal with Apple TV+ to simulcast the game in anticipation of Aaron Judge’s 61st. Home run of the season.
Apple TV+ reportedly turned down an offer from Yes to broadcast Friday’s game against the Red Sox – an offer that included Kay, David Cone, Paul O’Neill and its own production to back the broadcast. The New York Post First reported Thursday.
While the offer is off the table for now, Kay said in a statement to Front Office Sports that he opposed a deal to cover the game in honor of Stephen Nelson, Apple’s play-by-play announcer.
Aaron Judge misses 61 by a few feet, Yankees clinch playoff berth in walk-off against Red Sox
“I told my bosses yes I’d rather not do it [play-by-play] On Apple because it wouldn’t be right for Stephen Nelson. No way I want to big-foot someone and make him lose his gig for the night. I don’t think it’s right to do that.” read his statement to the outlet.
“I am very happy about it Yankees and Yankee fans I wanted to call, but I didn’t feel right about it. I would be hurt if it happened to me, and even though I don’t really know Stephen, I respect his position and he’s earned the right to call the game.”
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Judge, who is close to Roger Maris’ American League single season 61 home run record, The mark failed to hit during Thursday night’s broadcast, meaning fans will have to tune in to Apple TV+ to see if he ties the record on Friday.
According to MLB.com, fans do not need a subscription to watch “Friday Night Baseball.” Viewers can access the game for free via the Apple TV app or from the MLB.TV app. They can access the game through Apple TV’s website using their own Apple ID or by creating one.
Still, fans who are used to watching their favorite team on YES Network will definitely not like it.
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“Being one of the Yankee voices for 31 years, I’ve certainly never lacked the opportunity to call the big moments. I’d be disappointed if I missed it, but certainly not enough to take somebody’s assignment,” Kay told Front Office Sports.
Even though Judge failed to set the record on Thursday, the Yankees clinched a playoff berth 5-4 win over Boston. If he fails to hit the mark again on Friday, Yankees fans will be able to tune into the YES Network on Saturday.