Joe Simpson, Braves announcer, implies Juan Soto may be lying about age
Atlanta Braves broadcaster Joe Simpson drew criticism Tuesday after he implied Washington Nationals rookie Juan Soto may be lying about his age.
At 19 years old, Soto is having a stellar season one that has him on track to be the “best teenage hitter in history,” according to FanGraphs.
But Simpson, who didn’t offer any proof, apparently had his doubts about whether Soto was really a teenager.
During a Soto at-bat in the first game of a doubleheader, Simpson remarked “If he is 19, he’s certainly got hisman growth. He’s big and strong.”
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told The Athletic he had a “definite reaction” to the comment and discussed the issue with Simpson. Others, such as Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, blasted Simpson on Twitter.
In Game 2, Simpson walked back his remark.
“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 air. “Well, he is. He’s bona fide 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.”
Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan Wednesday that the broadcaster also apologized.
#Nats GM Mike Rizzo confronts #Braves announcer Joe Simpson for questioning Juan Soto’s age: https://t.co/tQoaFcYQ2n via @BurkeandHerbert pic.twitter.com/kKkhgs2M0V 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) August 8, 2018