Former Reds slugger and Yankees announcer butchers pronunciation of Elly De La Cruz's name

Just call him Elly!
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Paul O'Neill was beloved during his Cincinnati Reds tenure. In fact, a number of Reds fans believe that outside of trading Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles in 1965, dealing O'Neill to the New York Yankees in 1992 was arguably one of the worst trades in franchise history.

At the time of the trade, O'Neill was a good (not great) baseball player. O'Neill was mildly involved in the MVP chatter in 1990 and went to the All-Star Game in 1991, but overall the outfielder was a career .260 hitter. However, after joining the Bronx Bombers, O'Neill's career took off. From 1993-2001, O'Neill hit .303/.377/.492 with 185 home runs and he was part of four World Series championship teams.

O'Neill has since found a job in broadcasting and has been a color analyst alongside Michael Kay for the YES Network. But 20-plus years in the booth didn't help O'Neill this past weekend when trying to pronounce the name of the Reds' star shortstop.

Yankees announcer butchers pronunciation of Reds SS Elly De La Cruz's name

O'Neill was on the call for the Yankees series finale this Sunday against the San Francisco Giants. After the Giants had put a runner on first base during the bottom of the second inning, O'Neill was attempting to insert Elly De La Cruz into the discussion, but failed to pronounce the name of Cincinnati's infielder.

O'Neill sounded as if he was trying to talk while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Even once he was able to get the words out of his mouth, it sounded like an odd amalgamation of indiscernible syllables crunched together. After completely butchering De La Cruz's name, O'Neill said, "Oh, that's a tough one." Not really, Paul.

Were O'Neill attempting to say the name of another Reds player like Jeimer Candelario or even Casey Legumina, maybe fans could give him the benefit of the doubt. But this was just pure comedy and clips of O'Neill's blunder appeared all over social media.

Reds fans aren't nearly as worried about someone pronouncing De La Cruz's name as they are the fact that he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in Sunday's series finale against the Chicago Cubs. De La Cruz has been in a funk of late, and the Cincinnati faithful are hopeful that their young shortstop snaps out of it.

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