How the epic Yankees-Reds showdown ended

How the epic Yankees-Reds showdown ended

It was a game before the game, even if it wasn’t scheduled.

A pair of Yankees baseball players engaged in a pre-game confrontation over the national anthem with a pair of Reds baseball players before their Fourth of July showdown, and the confrontation turned into a viral sensation that lasted for several minutes.

“It wasn’t even planned,” said Cincinnati’s Graham Ashcraft, who stood alongside Carson Spires outside the stadium as did Ian Hamilton and Cody Poteet in front of the Bombers. He told reporters.

Reds players Graham Ashcraft and Carson Spears, along with Yankees players Cody Poteet and Ian Hamilton, got into a confrontation during the national anthem. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“We were all looking at each other. We saw that they weren’t moving. One of the guys asked Carson to stay. I said, ‘I’m staying with you because I’m not moving. I don’t have anything to do today.’ I’m staying until I win or get fired or both.”

Although the umpires asked them to move – and the players were warned to end their actions before the first batter intervened – the holiday spirit apparently prevented anyone from being sent off.

Spiers was the first to retire, followed by Hamilton and Potiat at the request of manager Aaron Boone, leading Ashcraft to victory and raising his fist.

“If you want to win, you have to win – right?” Ashcraft said.

It was all fun and games before the real game, which the Reds won 8-4.

“There wasn’t a lot of thought put into it,” said Poteet. “It wasn’t a normal anthem, they had an honor guard, so we were standing there longer anyway. We noticed they were still standing, so we wanted to see who could hold on longer. We took it seriously until the very last minute, near the start of the game. Just a bit of fun.”

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Yankees players Cody Poteet and Ian Hamilton, along with Reds players Graham Ashcraft and Carson Spears, got into a confrontation during the national anthem. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

This wasn’t the first time Major League Baseball players have been seen engaging in some patriotic pre-game activity.

Pitchers Robbie Ray and Lucky Weaver were ejected for falling down their pitch before the Mariners-Royals game in Kansas City in September 2022, delaying the start of the game.

In 2019, Marlins baseball player Sandy Alcantara They pushed things as far as they could go. With Tigers pitcher Daniel Stumpf before their teams’ matchup.

Graham Ashcraft #51 of the Cincinnati Reds stands for the national anthem before a game against the New York Yankees. Getty Images

It’s all part of the fun and games that precede the fun and games that count in the standings.

“It’s something that happens naturally, I think. It’s a little competition within the game. This is probably the first time I’ve been in this competition,” Poteet said.

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