Alfonso Soriano surprises Yankees announcers with 400th career home run

David Brown

Alfonso Soriano's 400th career home run Tuesday night apparently came as a big surprise to the play-by-play voices of the New York Yankees. Neither Michael Kay of the YES TV Network or John Sterling of WCBS Radio seemed to realize that Soriano, who had clubbed home run No. 399 in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, had reached the round-number milestone with another homer in his next at-bat, in the third.

It's like wishing Joe DiMaggio a happy 79th birthday but skipping No. 80! What the heck, Michael Kay and John Sterling? I know that nearly two entire innings had passed but, boy. Their calls would have turned the stomach of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, were he listening.

Thankfully, the analysts on the respective broadcasts were ready (or maybe somebody whispered into their earpiece or headphones) to get Soriano's 400th on the record. But even Ken Singleton and Suzyn Waldman made it seem like an ordinary footnote. And hey, as I mentioned, some people think others make too much of round numbers. So arbitrary, they might say. Well, as any Yankees fan who listens to Kay and Sterling would tell you, they're not "some people":

Kay and Sterling love big anniversaries. They live for them. And yet Soriano, who is on perhaps the hottest streak of his career at 37 years old, just caught them unprepared. It's OK, guys. Home run No. 500 won't be long!

Regardless, what a game for Soriano — who also made a terrific catch in left field — and for another ancient Yankees player, left-hander Andy Pettitte. He pitched seven shutout innings in a 7-1 victory against the Jays.

Another old-timer, legally beleaguered slugger Alex Rodriguez, hit career home run No. 651. Getting closer to Willie Mays! Man, how awkward would it be for certain parties if A-Rod tied or passed Mays on the all-time list just before the offseason hearing for his 211-game Biogenesis PED suspension?

The only question would be, would Kay and Sterling realize it when A-Rod hits No. 660?

Wow, these are fun times for the Yankees.

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