Aaron Judge raised some eyebrows this week when he leaned out of his dugout and then demolished a 462-foot home run against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez called it «really unusual,» while teammate Dan Schulman added: «You don’t want to unknowingly throw accusations, but…»
Judge claimed he peeked in to see who was «chirping» in the dugout, but the Blue Jays thought otherwise. They suggested that he was watching on the bench for information on what pitch was coming up. And the pitcher who threw the bomb, Jay Jackson, said he was tipping his pitches.
The New York Yankees said nothing illegal was going on, but sign stealing, both legal and illegal, remains the subject of heated debate in sports due to some unwritten rules.
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A Chicago White Sox pitcher feels Judge broke one of those unwritten rules by getting advice from a coach, not his teammates.
And that, says Lance Lynn, may be worth getting drilled with a fastball.
«That’s the only way to stop him, right?» Lynn, a former teammate of Judge’s, told «Foul Territory» when asked by former MLB player AJ Pierzynski how to keep players from leaning over the dugout.
«If a guy is on base, and he sees your grab from second, that’s up to you. I see that. But when you’re involved with players who aren’t on the field or coaches who aren’t playing the game, that’s where I think it’s too much. Everybody can do their homework. They can see things and do all of that. If it’s not your teammate and/or you in the box getting the tips, that’s where I draw the line.»
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Judge said he was «not happy» with the advances from the Blue Jays announcers and had «choice words» for them, which he would keep private. So instead, he’s letting his game do the talking. It appears that Schulman, Martinez and others poked the bear.
The defending AL MVP with a 62-homer season was heating up after his return from the disabled list. But in the five games since the «scandal,» he’s hitting .450 (9-for-20) with three home runs, two doubles and eight RBIs.
He went 4 for 4 with three RBIs, including the game-winning single, Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds.
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The Judge controversy isn’t the only cheating headline the Yankees have received in recent days.
Domingo Germán was sent off after the referees ruled that his hands were too sticky and is serving a 10-game suspension. In Friday’s game, Clarke Schmidt was allowed to stay in the game after a substance test. Reds manager David Bell argued about Schmidt’s staying in the game and he was ejected.
After a slow 15-15 start, the Yankees have won 10 of their last 13 games and 13 of their last 18.