The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are currently playing the AL Wild Card Game, and Oakland had MC Hammer throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The rapper and longtime A’s fan threw a fine pitch to A’s pitcher A.J. Puk (serving as the catcher), but ESPN2 broadcaster Mike Petriello hoped for a bit more from Hammer.
ESPN2 has a Statcast-themed broadcast of the Wild Card Game, featuring Petriello (known for his work with MLB.Com and especially the Statcast/data side of things) and Eduardo Pérez on the color commentary, and Jason Benetti on the play-by-play.
Well, Statcast had the Hammer pitch at 56.0 mph, which is quite good for a random person throwing a pitch (and especially with how casual the ceremonial first pitch traditionally is). But Petriello was disappointed in the pitch… because Hammer was unable to match his own age (57).
“He turned 57 earlier this year, which is a shame- he could’ve been the first person to throw his own age.”
Benetti and Pérez got a laugh out of it, with Pérez saying to Petriello, “That’s so wrong… you are ruthless.”
The Statcast-themed broadcast has been entertaining, and particularly so for fans looking for more of a data-driven broadcast.