Aaron Judge’s side-eye at the plate has a Toronto Blue Jays analyst suggesting he deserves to have a pitch thrown at him.
Monday night, an uproar was sparked when Judge mysteriously looked toward the Yankees dugout during his eighth-inning at-bat against the Blue Jays, then shifted his eyes back toward the pitcher just in time to hit a home run. Blue Jays broadcasters Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez questioned the eye movement, prompting mass debate over whether Judge and the Yankees were cheating.
Upon further review, there doesn’t appear to be any foul play. Toronto pitcher Jay Jackson admits he was probably tipping his pitches, allowing the Yankees to inform Judge what pitch to look for. It’s a legal practice in Major League Baseball, as long as no mechanical devices are being used to steal signs from the opposition.
To recap, Jackson was tipping his pitches, those pitches were relayed to Judge, he hit a homer, we should move on. Not so fast. During Sportsnet’s pregame show Tuesday night, Jays analyst Caleb Joseph felt Judge still needed to be dealt with.
“Everybody’s doing this, folks,” Joseph admitted of sign stealing. “Every team in the big leagues, they’re taking what’s handed to them. And it’s only bad until you get your hand caught in the cookie jar. If I’m a mom or dad when I see my kid with their hand in that cookie jar, I’m slapping that hand. So I’m trying to send a message. And there was a time earlier in my career when, yes, messages were sent to me too. Right at my head when it wasn’t good. I would like to see Kevin Gausman come out and send a message.”
Every MLB team attempts to steal signs, it’s an accepted practice, but because we watched the Yankees successfully pick up on a Blue Jays pitcher tipping their pitches, Judge deserves to get a pitch thrown near his head? Based on Joseph’s analogy, that’s like reprimanding a kid after telling them they can get a cookie from the cookie jar as long as they can reach it on their own. Getting your pitcher to stop tipping their pitches seems like the more obvious retort.
Judge did not receive a message Tuesday night. Instead he sent one of his own by mashing another eighth inning home run.