When the explanation about something that appears to be nefarious is stupid, it is usually the truth. So we believe Aaron Judge when he says he was looking toward the Yankees’ dugout on Monday night in Toronto because his teammates wouldn’t shut up.
That said: If Judge was actually peering over because the Bombers had manually stolen the Blue Jays’ signs and/or picked up on Toronto reliever Jay Jackson tipping his pitches, and that edge allowed him to crush the 462-foot bomb he launched in a 7-4 win, that is OK too.
This “Is Judge cheating?” thing — sparked by Sportsnet’s Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez after they noticed Judge’s glance on the Blue Jays’ local broadcast — is incredibly dumb. The only saving grace is that Martinez and Shulman did not raise alarms about a Rays player doing it and receive a challenge to debate South Florida hoops from a Tampa midday host.
“You don’t wanna go throwing allegations around without knowing but…”
Aaron Judge homers as the Toronto broadcast says he’s being suspicious pic.twitter.com/XWzoNrkvB4
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 16, 2023
Let us get this straight: The Yankees dared to establish an elaborate illicit sign-stealing system in a post-Astros world. They then figured out how to implement it on the road in an enemy stadium. And it was only utilized by Judge, and during this relatively unspectacular moment when the Yankees were already up six runs.
Yeah, that totally adds up. Crime of the century right there.
It is understandable why baseball still has its guard up about cheating. The Astros scandal shook the sport to its core and tarnished a World Series result. But let’s use our brains, folks. We are buying the “chirping” defense. But Judge and the Yankees are also allowed to do something they have been doing since Elysian Fields in Hoboken.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.