A Major League Baseball broadcaster's job is to keep viewers up on what's happening in the game and fill in the "dead air" with commentary, such as by bringing up stats, stories or something else to keep the flow of conversation moving and keep the energy alive.
Well, there was some interesting color commentary in Monday night's game between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays broadcasters, Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez, slowed down the footage and noticed that before a pitch, Yankees slugger and outfielder Aaron Judge — who's a right-handed batter — glanced toward his right, where the Yankees dugout was. That prompted the broadcasters to be puzzled as to why this happened and even to say they've "never seen him do that before."
It's led to many fans questioning whether Aaron Judge and the Yankees are relaying signs. Check out the clip below.
Blue Jays Broadcasters Question Whether Aaron Judge Received Signs
Aaron Judge hits a home run as the Blue Jays broadcasters wonder why he keeps glancing toward the dugout pic.twitter.com/ZrOY7grbYV
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 16, 2023
It goes without saying, but spending this much time on a topic might lead you to assume that the broadcasters are insinuating some "foul play" — although they never accused Judge of outright cheating.
But to the ordinary eye, it could look as if Judge is glancing over to see if someone has a sign for him for the incoming pitch from Blue Jays right-hander Jay Jackson. This glance happened on the first three pitches. The third pitch was called a strike low in the zone. That prompted Yankees manager Aaron Boone to storm out of the dugout to protest the call, resulting in the Yankee skipper getting tossed from the game by home plate umpire Clint Vondrak. The home run came on the fourth pitch.
the Blue Jays broadcast pointed out that Aaron Judge seemed to be looking, well, not at the pitcher...and then they noticed it again just before he homered pic.twitter.com/mHFXbsF6S3
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) May 16, 2023
To be fair, the Yankees have been mixed up in some sign-stealing conundrums, such as an April 2022 ESPN report detailing a 2017 letter from the league about it. In 2017, the Yankees were fined $100,000, and everyone moved on.
That said, if Judge is capable of standing in the batter's box, glancing to his right to accept a sign coming his way, adjusting his eyes back toward the pitcher, and smashing a home run over 460 feet for his second home run of the night, then he deserves it — no doubt about that.
After the game, Judge answered questions about the unusual glance.
Judge, Blue Jays Comment on Dugout Glance
As mentioned above, Judge glanced toward the dugout on four straight pitches, but he had a reason that made sense in the context of what happened.
"There was kind of a lot of chirping from our dugout, which I really didn't like in the situation," Judge said.
"I feel like after the manager does his thing, it's like, 'Fellas, our pitcher has still got to go out there and make some pitches. We've got the lead, let's just go to work here,'" Judge said. "I said a couple of things to some guys in the dugout and especially after the game. Hopefully, it won't happen again."
Aaron Judge says he was looking toward the Yankees dugout because he didn't like how much his teammates were chirping the umpire with a 6-0 lead
"I said a couple things to some guys in the dugout and especially after the game. Hopefully it won't happen again." pic.twitter.com/rMJ05Ilp0r
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) May 16, 2023
Blue Jays manager John Schneider commented on the glances, saying, "It's kind of odd that a hitter would be looking in that direction."
After the game, the ejected Boone understood Judge's displeasure with the dugout.
"Judgie was kind of looking over like, 'I'm hitting here,'" Boone said.
Aaron Judge said that he has some ?choice words about? about the Blue Jays broadcasters insinuating that he was cheating. He declined to share them. ?I?m not happy about it, but people can say what they want. I?ve still got a game to play. I?ve got things to do.?
— Bryan Hoch ?? (@BryanHoch) May 16, 2023
As you can see in this video, which shows the entire at-bat, Judge's expression perhaps shows a bit of frustration after Boone comes out. Based on his comments above, he wouldn't be frustrated at Boone but, rather, at what Boone's ejection might lead to — especially since he was already agitated with the dugout before Boone came out.
That's just speculation, but it makes sense.
Judge has 10 home runs on 117 at-bats this year. This isn't a player who needs to cheat from may-or-may-not-work signals from his clubhouse.
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