Aaron Judge explains his stinging Yankees comment

Yankees captain Aaron Judge

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Yankees captain Aaron Judge doesn’t hold a favorable view of the team’s performance this season. In his eyes, it ranks among the worst experiences since he debuted with the team back in 2016. He made his stance clear last week, as the Yankees officially missed the postseason for the first time since 2016. As the team’s leader, Aaron Judge is poised to advocate for changes within the organization during the upcoming winter. He has concrete “ideas” about the necessary adjustments and intends to communicate them in meetings scheduled with Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman.

“I’ll take the ALCS losses over this year,” Aaron Judge told NJ.com’s Randy Miller. “This isn’t the agonizing one blow where you know the season’s over, but more of a dragged out, painful death. But it’s all the same. We didn’t finish it, so it’s going to be tough no matter what.”

Aaron Judge’s remarks followed his characterization of this season as a “failure.” He expressed that numerous aspects required modification when the Yankees were officially eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday.

He responded that there were a few immediate solutions and some other issues that would require in-depth discussions and lengthy conversations involving many individuals. He mentioned that he wouldn’t go into detail about it at that moment, emphasizing the importance of gathering as a team to address and resolve the issues. According to him, it would involve the participation of many people, and this season had shed light on certain aspects that may not have been as evident when the team was winning. However, he believed that the season’s challenges provided an opportunity to rectify these issues.

Aaron Judge doesn’t want Boone to go

Aaron Bone hugs Aaron Judge at Yankee Stadium after his three-homer game on Sept 22, 2023.
AP Photo/ Frank Franklin II

The slugger was unusually blunt in his call to the Yankees to fix lots of stuff. But one thing Aaron Judge doesn’t want changed is the manager. The 31-year-old spoke highly of Aaron Boone, praising the skipper for the job he’s done since taking over the helm in 2018.

According to Aaron Judge, he has been with Aaron Boone since 2018 and believes Boone is the right man for the job. The slugger mentioned that the manager has a deep understanding of his players, knows how to communicate effectively with them, recognizes when to motivate them, and understands when to engage in difficult conversations. In his view, it’s crucial to provide Boone with a strong supporting cast consisting of players who are willing to go the extra mile for their manager.

“He knows his players. He knows how to talk to them. He knows when to push them. He knows when to have those tough conversations. I think it’s just about giving Boonie a good supporting cast, the right type of guys who are going to run through a wall for him,” Aaron Judge said.

No regret in rejoining the Yankees

Yankees captain Aaron Judge with his bobblehead at Yankee Stadium.

Aaron Judge expressed his contentment with his decision to re-sign with the Yankees during the past offseason, despite the team’s challenging season. He mentioned that he had declined more lucrative offers from other clubs in free agency to continue his journey with the team that originally drafted him. Aaron Judge remarked that he knew he had made the correct decision and was aware that it wouldn’t be all smooth sailing, with everyone leading the way to a return to the team’s glory days.

” I knew it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows and everybody’s going to ride into the sunset and get us back to the glory days.”

The Yankees star stated that he had realized during the season’s lowest moments that it was the kind of experience he had anticipated when he signed up. Aaron Judge believed that enduring a year filled with setbacks, injuries, and a disappointing season would only enhance the satisfaction of future successes. According to him, those moments of triumph would be truly enjoyable.

“I think going through a year like this – the setbacks, injuries, bad season – it’s only going to make the time when we do get it figured out that much better. We’re really going to be enjoying those moments.”

Judge on his injury, captaincy, and performance

Aaron Judge signs autographs for Yankees fans at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 22, 2023.

Aaron Boone stated this week that Aaron Judge would not require offseason surgery for his toe. Aaron Judge mentioned that they would address the matter after the season concludes. He emphasized that he is currently playing every day and putting in the required effort. Aaron Judge also expressed a general reluctance toward surgery, explaining that when medical procedures are performed, there is always an element of uncertainty. He added that there’s a potential risk of returning to a worse condition post-surgery, which is why he prefers to avoid it whenever possible.

When asked about his satisfaction with this season’s performance, particularly in comparison to the previous season where his OPS and homers per at-bat remained consistent while his batting average dropped significantly, Aaron Judge responded that he evaluates himself based on the number of games played, his ability to drive in runs, and the team’s success in winning games. He acknowledged that it had been a challenging year, especially when he couldn’t contribute on the field, which affected the team’s performance.

Regarding the added responsibility of being the team’s captain, Aaron Judge mentioned that while the title had changed, his approach and role within the team had remained largely the same. He explained that he continued to address issues within the team, motivate his teammates, and facilitate communication between players and staff.

Captain wants his way

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is with star slugger and captain Aaron Judge.
Bebeto Matthews/ AP

Aaron Judge found the role appealing as it allowed him to have open discussions with his teammates and staff, fostering better communication and alignment to address and resolve problems. He also noted that this level of communication with the team’s ownership, specifically Hal Steinbrenner, was unique and had the potential to enhance the team’s overall performance.

“Getting a chance to speak with teammates and staff about things they’re feeling, that’s appealing. I can take that to the good relationship that I have with Hal. I think that’s something that he hasn’t had in years (with players). I don’t even think he had (what we have) with the Core Four. It helps for a better line of communication so we can fix things and all get on the same page.”

It has been a significant year for Aaron Judge, though he will not come close to achieving his individual and team goals, including hitting 60-plus home runs or winning a World Series with his team. Unfortunately, two injuries severely impacted his chances of reaching those targets, especially when he dislocated his right big toe while making an incredible catch at Dodger Stadium in early June, which led to Aaron Judge missing 42 games. Additionally, an earlier hip strain caused him to miss 10 more games.

Despite these setbacks, it’s remarkable that Aaron Judge is still among the league leaders in home runs. He added two more, reaching a total of 37, in Wednesday night’s 6-0 victory over the Blue Jays.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Aaron Judge explains his stinging Yankees comment

  1. What is missed with this team is clutch pitching and hitting. Bunting, hit and run, and run and hit moving runners, seems to be a lost art with today’s team. Pitcher location the worst over and over to same hitters. Everything is swinging for homeruns consistently. Too many power hitters that swing and miss way too much and others then can’t run bases affectively in many situations. Things you learn in little league. Make mistakes in key situations. I counted at least 6 – 10 mores wins, blown by infielders mistakes at the worst times, both on offense and defense, and pitchers doing the same. You are highly paid athlete’s, No body is perfect, injuries, mistakes, bad pitches and pitch location happen. However, NYY suffered through way too many these this year. Good Luck in 2024.

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