Is the YES Network committing a copyright infringement violation? If the bells in Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral tower drove Quasimodo mad, YES now seems to be working, unauthorized, off a copy of Victor Hugo’s 1831 classic. 

Or am I nuts? Are these voices in my head on the way in or the way out? 

Thursday afternoon on YES, the network that has turned Yankees telecasts into a beast of viewer burden — as in “Make it stop!” — Gleyber Torres led off the ninth with the Yankees down, 2-1, in Houston and grounded out to short. 

But Michael Kay, who no longer indulges minimal effort from Yankees with silence or feigned ignorance [see: Gary Sanchez, among others], wondered why Torres was so late to arrive at first base. 

A replay showed Torres indolently trotting toward first, the latest in Aaron Boone Baseball, in which the least one can do is plenty. 

“Torres not moving that well down to first,” Kay said. “Not sure if he’s hurting or disappointed in the result. But that’s not a ‘hard 90’ [running 90 feet], for sure.” 

Cameron Maybin, who by now should have undergone off-day training to spare himself the ignominy of a dead heat with Carlos Beltran as the worst addition YES made this baseball season, took it from there: 

“I think that’s more of a frustration, er, frustrated swing, right there. Ball out in the middle of the plate, and Gleyber pulling off. 

“You know, he just wanted to get something going for his team, and when you see his mechanics break down, and when he’s good we’ve seen him going to right-center and right field, driving the ball, and right here just doing a little too much, pulling off.” 

Michael Kay
Michael Kay
Cameron Maybin
Cameron Maybin
Getty Images

What any of that contradictory gibberish had to do with Torres showing no interest in reaching first in the ninth inning with the Yankees down a run — a recidivist act from Torres — I don’t know. 

But this was the latest in a series of “What Was YES Thinking?” 2022 lecture series delivered by Maybin and Beltran. 

If this stands as expert commentary on No. 1 market New York Yankees telecasts, then I concede: I’m nuts. 

You betcha! Barkley knows all about hypocrisy

Charles Barkley could vandalize an orphanage and rationalize his act as noble, honest and caring — and be indulged by pandering media. But Barkley doesn’t cut others such breaks. And his quotes, on everything from NBA misanthropes to global intrigues, are deemed worthy of the public’s perusal and full attention. 

Thus his heavily rationalized quotes about joining the Saudi government’s millions-more-to-toss-around TV golf team were loaded with what he scorns in others: self-serving, rancid baloney. 

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley
Zuffa LLC

In an interview with The Post’s Andrew Marchand last week, Barkley heavily leaned on absurd rationalizations to try to excuse himself from himself. Highlights: 

Critics, mindful of the Saudi government’s still highly suspected role in the 9/11 terror attacks in which 3,000 Americans were massacred, and the more recent assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, were accused by Barkley of practicing “selective outrage.” 

Then there’s the sudden pre-prosecution disappearance of at least 20 Saudi nationals who were accused of felonies, including vehicular homicide of a 15-year-old in Oregon, while students or workers in the U.S. Investigators presume they were hustled back to Saudi Arabia. 

So if such outrage is “selective,” there’s plenty to select from. 

More: “In a perfect world, I would love to do both [NBA on TNT and the Saudi golf tour]. I don’t know how Turner’s sponsors are going to feel about it. I know there is going to be some blowback.” 

Blowback? Gee. Why? 

Of course, Barkley, despite a conviction for a DUI while conducting a roadside liaison with a suspected hooker (What’s the punishment for that in Saudi Arabia?) and being threatened with prosecution for $400,000 in unpaid casino gambling debts, nevertheless remains in great demand to endorse anything and everything. 

“They checked in with me,” he told Marchand of some of his sponsors. “What I told Subway, Capital One and Dick’s Sporting Goods, I said, ‘Wait a minute. I haven’t signed anything. … Let’s let this thing play out before you all call me all upset.’ ” 

Barkley, wrote Marchand, was dismissive of accusations that the Saudi golf tour is funded — to the reported tune of $2 billion — by blood money. 

“I told [Saudi golf front man and apologist Greg Norman], ‘Listen, they are making up words, like ‘blood money’ and ‘sportswashing.’ I said, ‘We have all taken blood money, and we all have sportswashed something, so I don’t like those words, to be honest with you.” 

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley
Getty Images for American Centur

Thus he’s unhappy with claims that he acknowledges are true. 

But in the Saudi case, his salary will be paid not just by a government, but one with a centuries-old history of abuse of women and backing of the most murderous regimes, including the Arab and Islamic world’s support of Nazi Germany — even after World War II. 

“I’m a [communist China] Nike guy, also, so I’m not going to do that thing where I pick and choose what I’m outraged about, where my money comes from,” Barkley said. “I just don’t think that’s fair. I think that makes you a hypocrite.” 

Yes, having already sold his soul to one devil, he’s getting good at it, used to it. 

And did he say “hypocrite”? Having admitted to having a profound gambling problem, he took money to star in TV advertisements luring young men to lose their money betting on sports. 

He doesn’t want to be a hypocrite? He took a pile of money to appear in TV commercials for Weight Watchers, swearing it has worked well for him — as the public watched his weight increase to what it is now: borderline obesity. 

Hypocrite? Perish the thought! But Barkley’s no fool, he knows he’s full of it. 

Dillon a mascot villain

Moron of the Week: The Packers’ AJ Dillon, a 250-pound running back/battering ram, last week was the guest attraction at a minor league baseball game hosted by Wisconsin’s Kenosha Kingfish. 

Dillon was supposed to line up against the Kingfish mascot, 150-pound college student Trey Meier, paid $12.50 an hour for stuffing himself into the Elvis The Mascot suit that limits his view. 

At the “snap,” Dillon was supposed to “play” football with the mascot, have some reasonable, gentle fun with him. 

Instead, Dillon blasted him, nailing Meier with all he had. The mascot’s body flew backward and into the ground as his Elvis head flew off. Meier rose shaken and bruised. 

Dillon was lucky not to have been charged with premeditated assault. What a jerk. 

Though likely a case of applied ignorance, for Fox to have last week superimposed Yankees, Red Sox and MLB/Fox logos over the reflection pools next to the 9/11 Memorial during a baseball telecast, remains stunning. Fox apologized for “poor judgment.” 

As the Yankees played in Houston last week, YES posted Jose Altuve’s career stats, including 181 homers and 357 doubles. Those brought to recall Mike Francesa’s all-knowing, condescending assessment of Altuve as “just a singles hitter.” 

Reader Scott Wolinetz: “With the rise of those such as Nick Kyrgios, it seems tennis may be leaving the era of grace advanced by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and headed to more of “the game has changed mentality that plagues all other sports.” 

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios

Hey, Gary Cohen and Michael Kay: What baseball game have you called that didn’t end in a walk-off something or other? 

Reader Paul Franklin asks if Rob Manfred, with a .200 average no longer that bad, has officially lowered the Mendoza Line.


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Tyler Cowan