Associated press3 minute read
NEW YORK — Michael King makes a living dotting corners with lead shots from 94 to 95 mph.
But when the New York Yankees reliever tried to throw his PitchCom device into the dugout, he couldn’t even stop it from navigating the stands.
“I don’t usually throw away a little rectangular piece of electronics,” King said with a smile.
Working in the ninth inning of a one-run game Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles, the right-hander was having trouble getting on the same page with receiver Ben Rortvedt when it came to their PitchCom signals.
“The one I got didn’t work. I don’t know if it just wasn’t on or what,” King said. “It just happened where I was hitting the slider at the same time Ben was hitting the sinker. So every time I hit a slider, it went through like a sinker.”
After knocking out Ryan McKenna early in the round, King decided to ditch his PitchCom device. He took it off his belt and threw it toward the Yankees bench, but he ended up being snagged by a woman in the seats between the dugout and home plate.
“I got nervous because I know you can call time for PitchCom, but I didn’t know if you could do that for a transmitter malfunction. So I just took it off and threw it away,” King said. “I thought it was definitely going to land in front of our dugout, then it took off like a Frisbee and I saw it float. And then I saw it almost hit a fan. And then apparently they pressed the button . Luckily, it didn’t work.”
A security guard or usher picked up the device and walked it across the front row before giving it to someone in the New York dugout.
“We got him back,” manager Aaron Boone said.
King then went two hitless innings, striking out three in his first win of the season as the Yankees rallied to win 6-5 in 10 innings.
He was unaware that a Major League Baseball memo in April 2022 advised teams that “Clubs are responsible for their PitchCom devices. Any club that loses a transmitter or receiver will be charged a $5 replacement fee. $000 per unit.”
“I had no idea,” King said.
Would the Yankees have sent him the invoice if a replacement was needed?
“I hope not,” King said with a smile. “I’m very happy that (we got him) back then.”