Rangers' Chris Woodward: 'No Disrespect' Meant with Yankee Stadium Comments

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2022

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Manager Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers looks on from the dugout against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the eighth inning at RingCentral Coliseum on April 22, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward called Yankee Stadium a "Little League ballpark" on Sunday after Gleyber Torres hit a walk-off homer against the Rangers over the right field fence. Yankee Stadium has one of the shortest right-field porches in baseball.

On Monday, Woodward clarified his remarks.

"Probably bad words on my part," he told reporters. "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' homer traveled 369 feet, which according to MLB Statcast would have made it a home run in 26 of the MLB's 30 ballparks.

New York Yankees @Yankees

Gleyby Boom 💪 <a href="https://t.co/6eAmbTyTvO">pic.twitter.com/6eAmbTyTvO</a>

Woodward didn't have those stats in front of him after the game when he made his remarks, however.

"Small ballpark. That's an easy out in 99 percent of ballparks," he said at the time. "Just happened to hit it in a Little League ballpark to right field."

Lindsey Adler @lindseyadler

Aaron Boone was asked if he had any thoughts on Chris Woodward’s comments that Gleyber Torres’ Game 1 home run would have been an out in “99 percent of ballparks.” Boone said, “not really,” but noted that Woodward’s “math is off” because there’s only 30 ballparks.

Woodward's comments may have been borne slightly out of frustration with his team's play to start the year. The Rangers are 11-15, while the Yankees are an American League-best 19-8. 

Torres had his own take on the remarks. 

"Both teams play in the same ballpark. It's the same dimension," he said. "I feel good to hit a walk-off homer in the Little League ballpark."

So did the Yankees after Giancarlo Stanton blasted a 461-foot bomb in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader:

New York Yankees @Yankees

We are going to guess this is a home run in 30/30 Major League ballparks. <a href="https://t.co/065f7tEAI3">pic.twitter.com/065f7tEAI3</a>

Even Yankees announcer Michael Kay got in on the action:

Talkin' Yanks @TalkinYanks

"Guess Woodward would like that one" <br><br>Shots fired <a href="https://twitter.com/RealMichaelKay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RealMichaelKay</a> <a href="https://t.co/rZxzEs5uV9">pic.twitter.com/rZxzEs5uV9</a>

Woodward, who played in New York for the Mets in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, walked back his comments on Monday.

"I adore the city. The ballpark is probably one of my favorite places to come," he 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."