Did Aaron Boone’s ejection fire up Aaron Judge?

On May 15, 2023, in Toronto, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected from the game following a heated argument with the umpire.

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TORONTO – In the eighth inning of their game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone was thrown out by plate umpire Clint Vondark. Aaron Boone argued opposing a strike call that was made against his captain Aaron Judge. The umpire subsequently ejected the manager from the game.

During the game, there was a notable incident involving a 1-1 slider from Toronto’s Jay Jackson. The pitch was below the strike zone but was ruled as a strike. Aaron Boone had a heated argument with Vondrak, but even after Boone left, the Yankees’ commentary persisted. The Yankees manager expressed his disagreement in a characteristic manner, tossing a piece of chewing gum toward the opposing team’s dugout at  Rogers Center.

Despite the ongoing commotion, Judge could still hear chatter from his teammates on the bench as the at-bat progressed with a 1-2 count. Aaron Boone made a strong statement in support of Aaron Judge’s assessment of the strike zone, resulting in his ejection from the game. And perhaps that ignited something and the captain paid it back.

Following Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s ejection, Aaron Judge, in response to it, hit a powerful home run to center field, covering a distance of 462 feet. This home run marked Judge’s second of the game, his tenth of the season, and his thirtieth multi-homer game throughout his career.

No sooner had Aaron Boone made his way to the manager’s office than Judge unleashed his second home run of the game, a mammoth 462-foot shot that soared into the restaurant area high above the batter’s eye in center field. With his team-leading 10th home run of the season, Judge extended the Yankees’ lead to 7-0 in the eighth inning, securing a 7-4 victory against the Blue Jays in front of a crowd of 28,810 spectators.

Aaron Boone’s 28th ejection

In the eighth inning, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected by home plate umpire Clint Vondrak after a dispute over a 1-1 pitch to Aaron Judge. Despite the umpire’s decision, Boone continued to argue his case on the field.

Before leaving the field and returning to the dugout, Aaron Boone discarded his chewing gum by throwing it toward a section of the padding at  Rogers Center in a clear indication of the Yankees’ hatred for the Blue Jays.

Although Aaron Boone recognized that Vondrak had made several incorrect pitch calls during the game, he believed that his reaction did not justify an ejection. He decided to approach umpires only to discuss and argue the situation.

Aaron Boone expressed his surprise at being ejected during Judge’s at-bat, mentioning that he was taken aback because he believed the Blue Jays had also been verbally aggressive towards him. He told reporters after the game in Toronto that he had experience with being ejected and felt that the situation did not escalate to that level, but it happened quite quickly.

After a 1-1 slider that seemed to be below the strike zone, two balls followed. Then, on the 3-2 pitch, Judge connected with another slider and launched it a distance of 462 feet to center field, concluding a noteworthy at-bat.

Judge’s impressive performance included two home runs in the Yankees’ 7-4 victory, marking the beginning of their series in Toronto. The Yankees established a commanding 7-0 lead, although the Blue Jays managed to reduce the margin with four runs in the eighth inning.

On April 12, Aaron Boone was ejected during a game against Cleveland, although the circumstances were entirely different from Monday’s incident against the Blue Jays. In the Cleveland game, the Guardians didn’t challenge a double play within the 15-second time limit. When they did it after, Boone opposed and get ejected.

After securing wins against the Rays on Friday and Saturday, the Yankees have now emerged victorious in three out of their last four matchups against AL East teams. With Tampa Bay having a day off on Monday, the Yankees have narrowed the gap between them to a margin of 7.5 games.

Yankees’ take on Aaron Judge’s second home run

Judge’s home run in the first inning contributed to a three-run opening frame against Alek Manoah, a pitcher known for his success against the Yankees. However, Manoah’s performance in mid-May has been unexpectedly subpar, with an ERA of 5.40.

Cameras captured a moment during Aaron Judge’s eighth-inning at-bat where he quickly looked toward the Yankees’ dugout before a pitch from reliever Jay Jackson.

The Blue Jays’ television commentators, Dan Schulman, and Buck Martinez speculated about the reason behind Aaron Judge’s gaze, with Martinez, a former professional catcher, largely disregarding the possibility that Judge was trying to cheat or observe catcher Alejandro Kirk’s positioning.

After being ejected from the game, Aaron Boone mentioned that he had listened to the Blue Jays broadcast. However, according to Boone, Aaron Judge was attempting to identify the Yankees players who were engaged in verbal exchanges during his at-bat.

Unsurprisingly, Judge provided a similar account of the events. He told that there was a significant amount of chatter coming from their dugout, which he found displeasing, particularly in a situation where they had a 6-0 lead and their manager, Boonie, was ejected.

Judge explained that his intention was to help Aaron Boone by calling a timeout and signaling to his teammates to pause their chatter so he could focus on his at-bat. He clarified that he wanted to identify the individuals who were engaging in the conversation in the dugout and emphasized the need to shift their attention back to the game after Boonie’s ejection.

Aaron Boone gets a return gift

It is possible that Jackson was unintentionally revealing his pitch selection, and someone in the Yankees’ dugout noticed this pattern. It is possible that Judge was anticipating the delivery of sliders.

After the resumption of Judge’s at-bat following Aaron Boone’s ejection, the AL MVP hit two additional sliders before launching a 3-2 slider with tremendous power. Judge noted that Jackson predominantly relied on sliders during the at-bat, and he specifically mentioned that the particular pitch he hit for a home run stayed elevated.

Aaron Boone disclosed that he had been highly charged and frustrated throughout the game due to what he perceived as erroneous strike calls against his team. In his short protest, he even pointed out to Vondrak that even the Blue Jays had expressed their discontent with the umpire’s dubious decisions.

Both the Yankees and Blue Jays expressed their dissatisfaction with the lenient strike zone of plate umpire Clint Vondrak, but tensions escalated for Boone in the eighth inning.

Aaron Boone believed that whatever he said to cause his ejection was not justified. He expressed his frustration with being ejected and mentioned that he was glad the team managed to hold on to the lead.

Following his initial movement towards the dugout, Aaron Boone abruptly turned back to engage in further argument, only to be intercepted by first base umpire and crew chief James Hoye.

Judge expressed his appreciation for Aaron Boone’s support, acknowledging that the Yankees manager always stands up for him. Judge maintained his earlier statement about teammates engaging in chatter in the dugout during his at-bat, which he considered to be somewhat of a distraction.

Judge mentioned that he had communicated with certain individuals in the dugout and particularly after the game, expressing his hope that a similar situation would not occur again.

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