By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — A day after calling Yankee Stadium a “Little League ballpark” following Gleyber Torres’ game-winning home run over the right field short porch, Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward said he regretted his postgame remarks.
“Probably bad words on my part,” he said Monday. “I gave it a layup for a lot of people. But listen, I meant no disrespect, obviously, to this place. And it’s obviously a world-class organization, ballpark. I talk about it as always being like one of my favorite places to come play, but I understand why Yankee fans will get upset about it. That’s why I love them.”
Torres’ ninth-inning drive off John King (1-1) traveled 369 feet and was hit at 106.5 mph, giving the Yankees a 2-1 win in a doubleheader opener.
“Small ballpark. That’s a easy out in 99% of ballparks,” Woodward said Sunday. “Just happened to hit it in a Little League ballpark to right field.”
Torres’ shot would have been a home run in 26 of the 30 major league ballparks, according to MLB Statcast.
“His math is wrong — 99%’s impossible,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “There’s only 30 parks.”
New York took a swipe at Woodward when Giancarlo Stanton hit a 461-foot home run to left in the second game, a 4-2 Texas win.
“We are going to guess this is a home run in 30/30 major league ballparks,” the Yankees tweeted.
Torres’ seven walk-off hits since 2018 are the most in the majors in that span. That was his second game-ending homer.
“Both teams play in the same ballpark. It’s the same dimension,” Torres said. “I feel good to hit a walk-off homer in the Little League ballpark.”
Woodward, in his fourth season as the Rangers’ manager, is familiar with New York from his time as an infielder with the Mets in 2005 and ’06. He laughed a little bit at the Yankees tweet.
“I adore the city. The ballpark is probably one of my favorite places to come,” Woodward said. ”They’ve got a short right field. They always have. Honestly, it was back to the old park. And that’s kind of what makes this place unique in a lot of ways. And hats off to Gleyber. Man, he hit that ball hard.”
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