Umpires find fault with Aaron Judge off the field for ‘interference’ slide vs. Brewers

Yankees' Aaron Judge slides into second base as Brewers' Adam throws to the first base. The throw deflected after hitting Judge's hand. American Family Field, April 28, 2024.

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Captain Aaron Judge led from the front in an explosive offensive onslaught that saw the Yankees emerging victorious with a convincing 15-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. However, his name was dragged into controversy after a throw hit his hand during the slide and deflected saving a double play for New York.

Though umpires didn’t consider it an interference during the game and continued with it, they made a U-turn while taking to reporters off the field.

“On the field, we got together and did the best that we could to come up with the correct answer,” Crew chief Andy Fletcher said about Aaron Judge’s slide. “After looking at it off the field in replay, it appears that the call was missed. It should’ve been called interference because it wasn’t a natural part of his slide. It didn’t appear that way to us. We did everything we could to get together and get it right. But after looking at it, it appears that it should’ve been called interference.”

It seems that the umpire is finding fault with Aaron Judge and even claiming that he did a willful interference much to the delight of the Brewers fans, who booed the Yankees slugger vehemently.

Yankees stand by Aaron Judge

In the aftermath of the game, a relaxed ambiance pervaded the Yankees’ clubhouse thanks to their big offensive show. Captain Aaron Judge, who was at the center of debate following his slide controversy, played down the incident. A relay throw from Brewers shortstop Willy Adames struck his hand during a potential double play, but the slugger brushed it off, highlighting his long-standing habit of sliding with his hands up and expressing more concern about the potential for a broken finger from Adames’ strong throw than the slide itself.

“That’s never happened before in my life,” Aaron Judge said over claims that he interfered with the throw. “I’ve been sliding like that for years. I was more concerned about how Adames has a great arm and that I broke my finger there. But no, there was no concern on my part. I’ve been doing that for years.”

Manager Aaron Boone echoed Aaron Judge’s nonchalance, showing little worry about a potential overturned call despite passionate arguments from Brewers manager Pat Murphy.

“Judge didn’t want to get hit by the ball,” Murphy said, “But I think he was trying to purposely obstruct. It’s my opinion. I don’t know what his intent was. He seems like a wonderful man, but very competitive also. So there might’ve been a chance.”

The incident unfolded with the score tied 4-4. The Brewers vehemently argued for an interference call on Aaron Judge’s slide, which would have resulted in two outs and no runners on base. However, the umpires ruled in favor of the Yankees, allowing them to continue batting. The Yankees capitalized in a big way, erupting for a season-high seven runs in the bottom of the sixth, essentially sealing the win.

However, a different perspective emerged from the Brewers’ clubhouse, later confirmed by the officiating crew. Crew chief Andy Fletcher, speaking to reporters after reviewing the play via video replay, acknowledged a missed call. According to Fletcher, Aaron Judge’s slide deviated from a natural movement, justifying an interference call that should have been made on the field.

The Brewers, including Adames, were understandably frustrated. Adames, speaking to local reporters, emphasized how Judge’s slide prevented him from throwing to first base and potentially ending the inning. He acknowledged the game-changing impact of the missed call but, with a touch of humor, noted that mistakes happen, and they would accept it as part of the game.

After Giancarlo Stanton‘s pop out to second base, which should have concluded the inning, the Yankees commendably capitalized on an extra opportunity. Over the next seven plate appearances, they scored seven runs. Gleyber Torres, Jose Trevino, Juan Soto, and Aaron Judge all contributed run-scoring singles, complemented by three walks. This offensive surge in the sixth inning marked a season-high for the Yankees, as they amassed seven runs in that frame.

While the Yankees secured a dominant victory, the missed call and the subsequent controversy added a layer of complexity to the game’s outcome, serving as a reminder of the significant influence of umpiring decisions, even in lopsided games.

“That’s something you gotta call in the moment, if you feel like somebody’s doing something intentional, which clearly Aaron wasn’t,” Boone said. 

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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