The New York Yankees’ performance during Monday’s 3-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium did not sit well with the team’s fans, who focused their ire primarily on Aaron Judge, the team’s best player.
The “Bronx Bombers” did not live up to their nickname during that first game of the series against Toronto, and ended the game with only four hits. Out of those hits, not one came from Aaron Judge, who finished the game 3-0 with two strikeouts and a base on balls.
However, this doesn’t seem to bother the right fielder to any great extent. As Aaron Judge commented after the game: “It’s not uncommon. I’ve been hearing them since 2016. It’s nothing new.” While Judge’s numbers have been modest in these early days of the 2022 MLB season, his performance on Monday was his worst so far with a .250/.333/.313 average and no homers or RBIs this season.
The boos may not be exclusively motivated by his insignificant impact to the Yankees thus far, since during the offseason, he turned down a contract deal worth more than $200 million from the team, which would have made him the second-highest paid outfielder in MLB, only behind Mike Trout. Should a deal not be reached, Judge would be tempted to test free agency, which would cause him to leave the team in which he made his MLB debut.
Manager Aaron Boone wanted to downplay the booing. “It’s a common part of the game. I’m not worried about it. Despite this, Judgie has a lot of support.” he commented.
After only four games into the season, fans may be coming down hard on him. Let’s recall that other Yankees’ bats have begun cold in recent seasons, so Aaron Judge, the three-time-called to the All-Star Game, a home run leader, 2017 American League Rookie of the Year and two-time Silver Slugger still has plenty of time to silence his critics and turn those boos into applause.
It’s not just Aaron Judge who should be singled out
Singling out a player like Aaron Judge could be a premeditated decision considering the Yankees’ offensive numbers after their first four games of the season (2-2) have not been the best.
Yankees hitters as a whole are averaging .214/.316/.351 to start the season, and their 3.3 runs per game average is the 10th worst in all of MLB. This is all the more remarkable considering their lineup has names like Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and company.
He has been able to compensate for this with good pitching, as evidenced by his 3.08 ERA, which ranks ninth in the Major Leagues, and his 1.03 WHIP, which ranks fourth.