Aaron Judge hit game-tying home runs in the sixth and eighth innings as the New York Yankees eventually topped the Boston Red Sox by a score of 7-6 at Fenway Park.
The home runs were Judge’s 56th and 57th on the season. Judge is now 20 home runs clear of the guy who has the second-most home runs in baseball and he’s just four shy of tying Roger Maris’ record for the most home runs in a single season by a player who wasn’t connected to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The interesting part of Judge’s two-dinger performance on Tuesday evening was the reaction from the Boston crowd. While you’d have expected boos directed towards the Red Sox’s biggest rival, instead, Judge’s home runs resulted in cheers…
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) September 14, 2022
Some of those cheers were from Yankee fans littered throughout the stadium and others were Boston fans who were simply excited to witness history being made firsthand. But the cheers for Judge almost felt like Red Sox fans trying to roll out the carpet for a superstar player who’s set to hit free agency this winter, sort of like what Celtics fans did with Kevin Durant before he signed with the Golden State Warriors back in the summer of 2016.
Following the game, Judge spoke about how much he enjoyed playing at Fenway…
“They’re some of the best in baseball,” he said. “They’re going to boo you and say some things. They’re going to make you laugh. It’s all part of it. They have a lot of great history here. This is one of the best places to play. It’s always fun to go out there and try to put on a show.”
When asked if he would consider signing with the Red Sox this winter, Judge didn’t rule out the possibility…
“We’ll talk about that at the end of the year.”
Adding fuel to the fire is this classic photo of Judge wearing Red Sox gear that has been making rounds to troll Yankees fans since 2017. Judge clarified later on that he wasn’t a Red Sox fan growing up, but he was wearing the team’s apparel when he was playing in the Cape Cod League in 2012 and the host family he was living with gave it to him.
— shortiestack (@StackYah) July 17, 2017
Would Judge sign with the Red Sox? Who knows! But it wouldn’t be shocking to see the team make a stab at an elite free agent given where they’re at right now.
The Red Sox have been focused on developing their farm system and clearing their books since Dave Dombrowski was fired and replaced by Chaim Bloom, a graduate of the Tampa Bay Rays School of Baseball Management. Part of that retool resulted in Mookie Betts getting dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a surprisingly small-market move for the usually high-spending Sox.
If Boston wanted to re-establish itself as a big spender, ripping Judge away from the Yankees right after he’s had one of the best seasons in franchise history would be the way to do it. From a Blue Jays’ perspective, we’d all love to see Judge leave the Yankees in free agency, and while it would be ideal for him to leave to play in the National League, it’s hard to root against the chaos involved with an MVP leaving New York for Boston.