Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward did a mea culpa before the New York Yankees and Rangers closed out their three-game set in the Bronx on Monday.
The Rangers skipper reversed course about his comments the night before in which he called Yankee Stadium a “Little League” ballpark after his team lost the first game of a doubleheader off a Gleyber Torres homer. Woodward, who should be familiar to New York baseball fans having played for the Mets in 2005 and 2006, said he regretted the remarks.
“Probably bad words on my part,” Woodward said on 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 hit a 369-yard shot into right field Sunday afternoon in the ninth inning to lead the Bombers to a 2-1 win in the first game against the Rangers. New York lost the second game 4-2 on a day where Yankee offense was limited.
The small dimensions of Yankee Stadium have long been a talking point since the building opened in 2009.
“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.”
Chris Woodward’s original comments came in between games on Sunday. The fourth-year manager of the Rangers said that Torres’ game-winning home run wouldn’t have made it out of 99 percent of MLB ballparks and that he had “happened to hit it in a Little League ballpark to right field.”
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The Yankees didn’t have much to say about the comments at the end of the night. Torres was the only Bomber to give an extended answer when asked about the comments.
“I think I feel good to hit walk-off homer in the little league ballpark and happy to win the first game,” Torres said. “I think the ego from people is too much sometimes. It is what it is. We won the first game.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.