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Yankees’ broadcaster Michael Kay turns down offer to cover Apple’s potentially historic game for Aaron Judge

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Veteran play-by-play announcer and voice of the New York YankeesMichael Kay, has turned down an offer to cover Friday night’s potentially historic game against the Boston Red Sox, amid reports that the Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) was trying to strike a deal to simultaneously broadcast the game with Apple. TV+ awaiting Aaron Judge’s 61st home run of the season.

Apple TV+ has 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 his own production to support the broadcast. the New York Post reported for the first time on Thursday.

Aaron Judge, #99 of the New York Yankees, celebrates the home run by teammate Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on September 22, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

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While the offer appears to be off the table for now, Kay said in a statement to Front Office Sports that he opposed a deal out of respect for Apple’s play-by-play announcer Stephen Nelson.

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“I told my bosses at YES that I’d rather not [play-by-play] on Apple because it wouldn’t be good for Stephen Nelson. In no way would I want to make someone great and let him lose his performance for the night. I wouldn’t feel right doing it’ read his statement to the outlet.

“I am very flattered that the Yankees and Yankee fans wanted me to call but I just didn’t feel right about it. I would be hurt if it happened to me, and although I don’t really know Stephen, I respect his position and he has earned the right to decide the game.”

Michael Kay (left) and Al Leiter (right) present Roger Clemens (center) in the YES booth at unofficial Rocket Day in the Bronx.  Clemens just signed an  million contract to pitch for the Yankees for the remainder of the 2007 season.

Michael Kay (left) and Al Leiter (right) present Roger Clemens (center) in the YES booth at unofficial Rocket Day in the Bronx. Clemens just signed an $18 million contract to pitch for the Yankees for the remainder of the 2007 season.
(Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

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Judge, approaching Roger Maris’ American League single season record 61 home runs, failed to hit the mark on Thursday night’s broadcast, meaning fans will have to tune in to Apple TV+ to see if it matches Friday’s record.

According to MLB.com, fans don’t need a subscription to watch “Friday Night Baseball.” Viewers can access the game for free through the Apple TV app or through the MLB.TV app. They can also access the game through the Apple TV website using their own Apple ID or by creating one.

Still, fans who are used to watching their favorite team on the YES Network will definitely not like it.

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“As one of the Yankee voices for 31 years, I certainly haven’t missed any opportunities to name any big moments. If I miss this one, I’ll be disappointed, but certainly not enough to take anyone’s command,” Kay told Front Office Sports.

Aaron Judge, #99 of the New York Yankees, strikes in the 6th inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Yankee Stadium on September 20, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Aaron Judge, #99 of the New York Yankees, strikes in the 6th inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Yankee Stadium on September 20, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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While Judge failed to match the record on Thursday, the Yankees took a playoff spot with a 5-4 win over Boston. If he fails to hit the target again on Friday, Yankee fans can tune in to the YES Network on Saturday.

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