Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Yankees fans are complaining that John Schneider opting to walk Aaron Judge is “bad for baseball”
By Cam Lewis1 year ago
The Blue Jays have a challenging situation ahead of them this week as hosts.
The New York Yankees have rolled into town one win away from clinching the American League East. Also, Aaron Judge, is on the verge of tying the American League record with 61 home runs in a single season.
Ideally, the Blue Jays would prefer not to have the Yankees have a champagne-filled celebration at their home stadium and all of their pitchers surely don’t want to be the guy who served up Judge’s historic bomb.
So far so good, as the Blue Jays won their series opener with the Yankees by a score of 3-2 on Monday, as Vladdy Jr. came through in the 10th inning with a walk-off single. While that clutch hit from Guererro was the highlight of the game, there was a major moment that came a little earlier that has Yankees fans up in arms.
Anthony Bass came into the game in the 10th inning with the score locked at 2-2. He struck out Harrison Bader, walked Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and then struck out Jose Trevino. Next up was Judge, who had a chance to make history in just about the loudest way possible.
Rather than lean into the righty-on-righty matchup, John Schneider made the bold move to walk Judge, loading the bases for Anthony Rizzo. Tim Mayza was brought into the game for the lefty-on-lefty matchup and he got Rizzo to ground out to end the inning.
The response from Yankees fans was predictably negative, as boos were noticeable throughout the Rogers Centre. The talk the following morning on Twitter within Yankees circles has been that the move to walk Judge was bad for baseball…
If the Blue Jays had gone ahead and intentionally walked Judge in all of his at-bats throughout the game, sure, you’d have an argument that taking the bat out of his hands while he’s on the pursuit of a milestone such as this one is bad for baseball.
But Judge had his chances to his No. 61 in Monday’s game. He hit a single and drew a walk in his first two at-bats and Kevin Gausman and Yimi Garcia challenged him and struck him out in the sixth and eighth innings respectively.
The reality that Yankees fans are missing here is that the Blue Jays are playing for something right now and that Judge isn’t the main character of baseball. The Blue Jays need these wins in order to ensure that they can host their wild-card series come October and going with Mayza vs. Rizzo rather than whoever vs. Judge is simply the right move to make when you’re in a tie game in extra innings.
This situation is far from bad for baseball. It was a gutsy managerial decision that resulted in an exciting win for a team looking to lock up a playoff spot. Yankees fans just seem to forget more often than not that the sport of baseball doesn’t entirely revolve around them.
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