No, David Cone was not drunk on YES Network during the New York YankeesTampa Bay Rays Wednesday night matchup, but even he admits it sounded that way.

At the start of the broadcast, Cone began the scouting report for Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortés and it quickly became clear that he was struggling to get through the segment. Cone’s ability to speak faded as he battled what was likely some feedback in his headset, and not the effects of a few adult beverages.

“So you’re hearing the same thing I’m hearing,” play-by-play voice Michael Kay said, recognizing that something was off. Before throwing it to Cone for the Cortés scouting report, Kay was similarly struggling with feedback as he set up the game broadcast. “Wow, well we’ll get through this.”

“This is how I sound after a night out with David Wells,” Cone joked about his former Yankees teammate.

Wells was known to be a big consumer of beer during his 21 seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher and famously claimed he was “half-drunk” for the start of his perfect game on May 17, 1998.

Kay battled through the game’s first at-bat while dealing with the same audio issues, but the Yankees veteran play-by-play voice didn’t sound as hampered by the feedback. Not much more than a minute later, Kay acknowledged the issue was fixed for him and Cone chimed in sounding much better.

Cone and Kay were likely hearing their own voices on a delay in their headsets, creating an echo that can drastically throw off a person’s speech, making them sound inebriated. It infamously happened to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred during the 2020 World Series trophy presentation on Fox. Max Scherzer also dealt with similar issues last year on TBS after the Dodgers won the Wild Card.

Unrelated, Cone announced earlier this week that he’ll be having hip replacement surgery during the All-Star break and we wish him all the best in his recovery. Cone’s arthritic left hip forced him to retire from the New York Mets in 2003 at the age of 40. The YES Network and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst expects to back in both booths two weeks after surgery.

[YES Network]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to