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Braves broadcaster questions age of Nats' Soto, then recants

With the Braves and Nationals playing a day-night doubleheader in Washington, Simpson stirred trouble by commenting on Fox Sports South during the first game: "If he's 19, he has certainly got his man growth. He is big and strong."


Reuters 08 Aug 2018, 06:35 AM Canada

Atlanta Braves broadcaster Joe Simpson, who made a comment Tuesday that seemed to imply that Washington Nationals rookie sensation Juan Soto might not really be 19 years old, later stated unequivocally that he believes Soto is 19 but "a full-grown man."

With the Braves and Nationals playing a day-night doubleheader in Washington, Simpson stirred trouble by commenting on Fox Sports South during the first game: "If he's 19, he has certainly got his man growth. He is big and strong."

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was none too happy about the comment, later telling The Athletic that he had a "definite reaction. I handled it face to face, privately with (Simpson). I believe he understood my stance on his comments."

Simpson didn't tell The Athletic what he and Rizzo said, but did say: "It's cool. I've already squared it away."

Soto, who is listed on the Nationals' website as 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, pounded his 14th home run of the season in the second game, and Simpson tried to clarify his earlier comment.

"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. "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."

In 68 games for Washington, Soto is hitting .315 with a .432 on-base percentage, a .567 slugging percentage and 39 RBIs.

Last month, Simpson ended up apologizing to the Los Angeles Dodgers after criticizing some players, particularly veteran Chase Utley, for how they dressed to take batting practice on the field.

--Field Level Media

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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