After waiting 24 hours to play (the result of Thursday night’s rainout), Cleveland’s patience was rewarded Friday with the Guardians stealing Game 2 on the road at Yankee Stadium, using a 10th-inning rally to even their series at 1-1. Though not as sharp as he was in his playoff opener last Friday (7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 8 Ks in a win over Tampa Bay), former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber was still plenty effective, limiting the Yankees to two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. At one point during the broadcast, TBS play-by-play veteran Bob Costas mistakenly referred to Bieber as “Justin,” much to the amusement of fans on Twitter, who took great delight in Costas’ Freudian slip.
Benign as his slip of the tongue was (his unfortunate description of Harrison Bader in Game 1 was arguably much worse), that didn’t make the moment any less mortifying for Costas, a consummate professional and one of the most polished broadcasters in all of sports.
Costas isn’t the first announcer and surely won’t be the last to confuse Shane for the world-famous popstar that shares his last name. In fact, we witnessed a similar brain cramp years earlier when Topps made the egregious mistake of printing “Justin” on Shane’s baseball card. Bieber, to his credit, had a sense of humor about it, changing the name on the back of his jersey to “Not Justin” during Players Weekend in 2019.
Fortunately for Costas, Bieber is unlikely to pick again this series, unless the Guardians, in a Hail Mary to save their season, bring him back on short rest for Monday’s winner-take-all Game 5 in New York.
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