Paul O'Neill Yankees first pitch Yankees legend and YES Network’s Paul O’Neill’s first pitch didn’t go great! Credit: YES Network

New York Yankees legend Paul O’Neill is one of the team’s most beloved former players. “The Warrior” was part of the Yankees’ four World Series championship teams between 1996 and 2000 before he retired in 2001. O’Neill later joined the YES Network as an analyst.

Given his history and standing with the franchise, he’s a no-brainer choice to be involved in the Yankees‘ home opener. New York tabbed O’Neill to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium Friday.

The pitch didn’t go as planned!

O’Neill unfortunately bounced it, which earned him a round of jeers from those who attended the home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. Some lighthearted ribbing also went O’Neill’s way, courtesy of his YES Network colleagues.

“I want you to break down this pitcher,” lead voice Michael Kay asked O’Neill while a highlight of his first pitch rolled. O’Neill remarked it “wasn’t too good” as he made fun of himself.

The ribbing continued on the Yankees Postgame Show on YES. Host Bob Lorenz, former Yankee catcher John Flaherty, and longtime insider Jack Curry got in the mix.

“I’m still trying to figure out, Jack, what went wrong with Paul O’Neill’s throw,” Lorenz said to Curry.

“Well, he did go to the top of the mound. I give him a lot of credit for that. He jokingly said he wanted to see if Mattingly could pick it,” Curry said.

O’Neill is the latest sports analyst or personality to catch flak after throwing out the first pitch at a Yankee game. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith famously got joked about during First Take following a misstep throwing out the first pitch during a game in 2023.

[YES Network on X]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022