During the seventh inning of the first game of Tuesday’s Nationals-Braves doubleheader at Nationals Park, Fox Sports South analyst Joe Simpson implied that 19-year-old Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was lying about his age.
“He is — if he’s 19, he has certainly got his man-growth,” Simpson said of Soto, the Dominican Republic native who walked in his final plate appearance of Washington’s 8-3 win to become the youngest player since Robin Yount in 1975 to reach base five times in a game. “He is big and strong,” Simpson went on.
Simpson didn’t elaborate, and Braves play-by-play man Chip Caray let the speculation slide. After Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo got wind of the comment from a team PR employee, he decided to confront Simpson about it before the second game, as first reported by the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
“Our PR people, when they see these tweets out there and that type of thing, I get alerted to it,” Rizzo said during his weekly appearance Wednesday with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. “Because I have nothing to do with social media. They alert me when things come up that I need to know about, and they thought I needed to know about this. Then I handled it. It took all of about 10 minutes.”