“Not One Athletic Bone in Your Body”: After Embarrassing Derek Jeter, Stephen A. Smith Faces Wrath of Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, and Steve Harvey Following Yankees Disaster

Published 09/23/2023, 7:30 AM EDT

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The game of baseball brings with it pressure. The pressure to perform and to not disappoint fans who have been a valuable support for the franchise. But as often happens, sometimes players crumble under pressure, a phase that many sportscasters choose to criticize. However, one sportscaster found him on the wrong end of the criticism when he took the mound in Pinstripes.

The first pitch is often a time of great celebration for the home team. With a notable figure usually throwing out the first pitch at the home stadium, Stephen A Smith got the opportunity to flex his pitching muscles at Yankee Stadium. Despite being one of the most vocal voices on sports broadcasting to criticize players for their performances under pressure, Smith himself proved to be no different. It seems as though the tables have turned, and now Smith is at the end of some criticism.

ESPN Sportscaster Cops Criticism for First Pitch


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When Stephen A took the mound to throw out the first pitch before the raucous Bronx fanbase, the expectations were set. Just get the ball to the pitcher in a throw. Smith, however, was not able to keep up with the pressure, bouncing his pitch to a reception of boos from the crowd. While he may have been upset at himself, the celebrity world did not pull back on any punches in the aftermath.

With all of Stephen A’s friends even going so far as to sending clips to his morning show to let him know just what they thought. Rapper and comedian, Snoop Dogg said, “Stephen A Smith, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for that pitch. There’s not one athletic bone in your body by the looks of that pitch. That looked more like a bounce pass in basketball.


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Even other celebrities were reluctant to let it go. With TV host, actor and comedian Steve Harvey ringing up the TV show live with his comments, “Oh my God! Stephen A you have embarrassed me. You have had embarrassment heaped upon me.” The star host commented on how his friends were calling him up holding him accountable for the pitch.

However, Stephen A seemed to understand that this was all good natured ribbing, taking it all with a smile and a laugh to boot.

Stephen A Deals With Criticism Like a Champ

On the ESPN broadcast, Stephen A chose to address the public embarrassment that he had with a smile and a joke. Recounting reactions that he himself had seen of the pitch, Smith recounted that he had Jay Z tweet the pitch with a few sad face emojis which were all a while he had believed Jay Z to be a close friend. Smith remarked sadly about Jay Z, as he recounted, “That’s my boy, that’s my boy.” The criticism wasn’t just limited to his celebrity friends either.


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Even New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter had spoken to Smith before his disastrous outing and apparently even after. Recounted Smith, “Jeter had spoken to me before the pitch and he’s said ‘Don’t mess this up’ and after what happened he called me and he told me,’the excuse is going to be that you thought you were playing cricket and not baseball. That’s the only way right now.’” Smith, however, stuck to his explanation from initially on. Said Smith, “It was the breaking ball man, it was the breaking ball!


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The question of whether Smith can throw or not seems to have found some finality with his pitch, but he sure will be looking to ‘bounce’ back from this setback soon.

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Written by:

Aditya Deshingkar


One take at a time

Aditya Deshingkar is a MLB writer at EssentiallySports. In another life, Aditya was a lawyer with a premier legal firm in the country and has recently made the switch. As an avid sports lover, he shares a keen interest in NBA, MLB, and Formula 1.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj