As the All-American Boy, Aaron Judge has ridden a wave of popularity for six years with no hiccups. That all changed this weekend, though…
When it comes to baseball, Aaron Judge never forgives or forgets.
Supercompetitive on the diamond, Judge, was the most vocal Yankee after it was revealed that, in all likelihood, Jose Altuve knew in advance the pitch coming to him from Aroldis Chapman that went for a home run, sending his team home, denied of a trip to the World Series.
Yankees fans recall Aaron Judge trying ever so hard not to raise his voice but drooling with contempt, who spoke these words to USA Today in 2017.
“When I heard that (about the cheating), I was just sick to my stomach,’’ Judge said. “Once it came out, I was pretty mad. I was pretty upset to know that we were probably cheated out of a possibility of making it to the World Series.”
More foreboding, however, were these words as he walked off to end the press conference:
“To hear you got cheated out of that possibility, that’s tough to let go.’’
Tough To Let Go
Four years later, Aaron Judge has yet to let it go, and especially his particular dispute with Altuve dating back to the same year, when Cody Bellinger, a rival player, stood up for Judge, asserting that not only did the Astros steal the 2017 World Series trophy from them, Bellinger also accused Jose Altuve of stealing Judge’s MVP award.
And so it was this weekend that Aaron Judge saw a good time to even the score.
By now, you’ve all seen or heard about how Judge, when rounding third base after hitting a monster home run, tugged at his jersey, blatantly mimicking Judge’s memory of Altuve doing the same after walking the Yankees off four years ago.
Aaron Judge: Does He Feel Better Now?
If only Aaron Judge had known what would transpire Sunday, when it was Altuve again who shocked the Yankees with a three-run home run, giving the Astros an 8-7 walk-off comeback win.
Adding fuel to what will surely be fire between these two teams, Altuve took it to the limits, as you’ll see in this video.
Judge: When You Start Something, You’d Better Finish It
After that performance and follow-up celebration, I think it’s safe to say that the Yankees and Aaron Judge hate Jose Altuve more than they hate the Red Sox.
But that’s where Judge went wrong, losing a bit of his long-standing professionalism because he forgot something.
He forgot that the same fire that burns in his soul also burns in Altuve’s.
Forget being a Yankees fan – what Altuve did was spectacular – and his home run has to be the highlight of the baseball season this year.
Later, Aaron Judge tried vainly to slough the whole thing off, saying, “Whenever they keep the roof closed here, it’s a little chilly. I was just telling my teammates to button up a little bit,” Judge told reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
That’s pretty lame, Aaron, because your team got beat, even humiliated by a better team on one day in a long season, and of all Yankees players, you should know better.
Aaron Judge: Star Attraction At The All-Star Game
No doubt, Aaron Judge will be mobbed by blood-seeking reporters looking for follow-up from him in the absence of Altuve, who bowed out and will not be in Denver.
But it might be a better choice to push that competitive spirit in another direction, doing the work that needs to be done if the Yankees have any chance of getting revenge on the playing field against the Astros in this year’s playoffs.
Because as Jose Altuve proved yesterday, “evening the score” doesn’t come with gestures – it comes from winning.
Yesterday, you, Aaron Judge, lost, and you lost big-time.
Having said that, I hope he crushes one tomorrow night…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Brian King I’ve never been so pissed off at the Yankees in my life. Boone should be fired for not taking out Green..he had nothing in the tank, every ball he threw got hit hard. Not Judge’s fault Boone doesn’t know when to make a decision. What a joke!
Dave Waxman This isn’t the first time Judge’s nonsense backfired… remember New York New York in the Red Sox clubhouse after winning Game 2 in the ALDS. After that, the Sox humiliated this team, and New York New York is now a punchline for other teams. Great job Judge, very cool.
Kenneth Schultz So which is it? Do you want them to play with more fire and intensity or do you want to call it showboating and have them sit quietly in the dugout?
Joe Impalli Did Judge throw 6 curveballs in a row to blow this game?C’mon man
Morganna Walker oh, they are so butt-hurt over that, they need to get over it. People wouldn’t be trolling Altuvé if he wasn’t a total as-ho-e and a cheater to boot
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
Due to space restrictions, comments are (prematurely) closed.
Typically, the reaction here is mixed but I did pick up one thing, with several comments pointing out the contradiction in wanting the Yankees to be more spirited and demonstrative as I’ve done in the past – and then when it happens – some of us object.