How the epic Yankees-Reds anthem standoff went down – New York Post

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It was a game before the game, even if it was unscheduled.

A pair of pitchers from the Yankees engaged in a pre-game anthem standoff with a pair of Reds hurlers before their July 4 showdown, turning into a minutes-long viral sensation.

“It wasn’t even planned,” Cincinnati’s Graham Ashcraft, who stood side-by-side with Carson Spiers outside the dugout as Ian Hamilton and Cody Poteet did in front of the Bombers’ digs, told reporters.

Reds pitchers Graham Ashcraft and Carson Spiers along with a pair of Yankees pitchers Cody Poteet and Ian Hamilton, were locked in a national anthem standoff. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“All of us we’re glancing over. We saw they weren’t moving. One of the guys told Carson to stay. I was like, ‘I’m staying with you because I’m not moving. I don’t have anything to do today.’ I’m staying until I win, get ejected or both.”


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While umpires did tell them to move — players were warned to end their shenanigans before the first batter stepped in — the holiday spirit seemingly kept everyone from getting the boot.

Spiers was the first to call it quits, followed by Hamilton and Poteet at manager Aaron Boone’s request, leading Ashcraft victorious and pumping his fist.

“If you’re going to win, you’ve got to win — right?” Ashcraft said.

It was all fun and games before the real game, an 8-4 Reds win, went down.

“There wasn’t much thought to it,’’ Poteet said. “It wasn’t a normal anthem, since they had the color guard, so we were standing there a little extra anyway. We noticed they were still standing, so we wanted to see who could outlast each other. We took it all the way to the last bit, close to the game starting. Just a little fun.”

Yankees pitchers Cody Poteet and Ian Hamilton along with a pair of Reds pitchers Graham Ashcraft and Carson Spiers, were locked in a national anthem standoff. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

It wasn’t the first time MLB has seen its players engage in some extracurricular pre-game patriotism.

Pitchers Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver were ejected for their star down before a Mariners-Royals game in Kansas City in September 2022, which delayed the start of their game.

In 2019, Marlins hurler Sandy Alcantara pushed things as far as they could go with Tigers reliever Daniel Stumpf before their teams faced off.

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

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

“It’s something that happens naturally, I guess,’’ Poteet said. “It’s a little competition within the game. It’s probably the first one I’ve been a part of.”

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