The uncanny timing of the blast, aided by close-up television replays and some questioning commentary by Blue Jays television announcers Dan Schulman and Buck Martinez certainly made for some interesting postgame discussion.
Just moments before Judge’s second home run of the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing a called strike on his 6-foot-7 slugger. Judge said his sneak peek was in response to “a lot of chirping from our dugout” while he was in the batter’s box.
“I said a couple things to some guys in the dugout and especially after the game,” Judge said. “Hopefully, it won’t happen again.”
While Judge may have hoped to put a lid on any controversy, the Blue Jays weren’t as willing to put the incident behind them.
Toronto manager John Schneider acknowldeged seeing video of Judge, calling it “kind of odd,” according to The Athletic, and concluding that “he’s obviously looking somewhere besides the pitcher for a reason.”
It’s possible Jays reliever Jay Jackson was tipping his pitches or catcher Alejandro Kirk was setting up so the Yankees could see what pitches he was calling. Schneider said the team would take a closer look at potentially closing those loopholes before Tuesday’s game.
No matter what really happened, sign-stealing is part of the game — and has been throughout history — as long as it doesn’t involve the kind of electronic surveillance the Houston Astros were caught doing in 2017.
So while Judge’s actions may certainly look suspicious, especially in light of the monstrous home run he hit moments later, they may end up being remembered mostly for the internet memes they generated.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Aaron Judge’s peek into dugout before hitting homer stirs controversy