TBS analyst Ron Darling renewed his assertion that Luis Severino was late in warming up for his start against the Red Sox Monday in Game 3 of the Division Series. He did not back down even after denials to the contrary from the Yankees, including manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Severino himself.
"The Yankees are circling the wagons," Darling told SNY Tuesday. Darling, a former Mets pitcher, works for SNY as an analyst for the Mets. Darling was not available to be interviewed by Newsday.
"They have a young, incredible talent in Severino. I'm not judging anyone,'' Darling said. "There was nothing sinister about me saying what I said. My job is to give fans a peek behind the curtain, and that's what I was doing.’’
Severino was charged with six earned runs in three-plus innings as the Yankees absorbed a 16-1 loss. Darling said on the broadcast that the right-hander did not start his pregame bullpen session until 7:32 p.m for the 7:40 start at Yankee Stadium.
"It seemed unusual to me," Darling said. "That's why I brought it up. A lot of people can disagree, but, really, I don't know how they could."
Darling said the network’s production truck had video containing Severino's entire pre-game routine. "They had everything time-stamped," Darling said. "Severino didn't step on the field until 7:23. He didn't throw a pitch until 7:32. I also could see Larry Rothschild mouth the words to him, telling him it was a 7:40 start. In all my years as a pitcher, I never had a pitching coach have to tell me what time the game was.
"I'm not drawing any conclusions or saying the warm-up had anything to do with the way Severino pitched. It's not me trying to crack the code or doing some journalistic exercise. It just seemed unusual for a pitcher getting ready for a game like that, and when I find an oddity, it's my job to tell people about it."
Severino vehemently denied Darling’s assertions in a postgame interview. “Who is that guy? So how does he know what time I’m going every time?” Severino said of Darling and added that he always takes only 10 minutes to warm up. “He’s from here? He’s always here? ... If my pitching coach said that to you, you can believe it, but he’s not – whatever he said, he’s not always in the bullpen.”
Darling added, “My other option is to not say anything, as a way of protecting the athlete, but that's not how I work. I'm trying to look for things that are different because I think fans find them interesting. That's all I was doing."
On Monday, Darling issued an apology for what was construed as a racially insensitive comment he made in Game 2 during a start by Yankees' right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.