If the Toronto Blue Jays are seriously alleging that Yankees‘ star hitter Aaron Judge might have cheated during Monday night’s game, they should first question why their 35-year-old relief pitcher threw a slider over the center of the plate.
Judge had shifted his gaze just before the pitch, possibly looking for a signal that could have indicated tipped pitches from Jay Jackson.
To provide some background, Jackson had a 5.93 ERA at the Triple-A level before his promotion a few days ago, implying he’s more than susceptible to a battering from one of baseball’s top players.
“When I returned to the dugout, (one of the coaches) informed me that I’d be upset when I watched the video,” Jackson told the Toronto Sun. “He said they were tipping pitches.”
The idea that the Yankees were cheating in Toronto is improbable. However, if the Blue Jays were tipping pitches, it’s entirely legal to collect this information and relay it to Judge in the batter’s box.
“I noticed it,” Schneider commented. “It’s somewhat strange that a batter would be looking in that direction. He’s obviously looking there for a reason, and we’ll delve into it more tonight and tomorrow to ensure we’re not making ourselves vulnerable to tendencies.”
Judge suggested that he was glancing at his teammates, hinting that he was unhappy with their conduct after manager Aaron Boone was ejected from the game.
“There was a lot of chatter from our dugout, which I wasn’t pleased with in a 6-0 game,” said Judge. “I know Boonie got tossed — I tried to intervene by calling timeout, saying, ‘Wait, let me work.’ I was trying to see who was heckling from the dugout. It’s 6-0. Boonie got tossed; let’s just get to work.”
The Yankees have no reason to cheat up 6-0:
If that’s the complete truth, Judge has no reason for concern. Clearly, the Blue Jays are searching for a potential non-issue to rationalize their Monday night defeat.
Jackson attempted to moderate his views when discussing the incident but hinted that something unusual might have occurred before the pitch was thrown.
“I’m not going to say anything against any organization… but for him to be peering over for that length of time, it seemed like it was more than just a quick glance and readjustment of his eyes to focus back on the pitcher.”
Again, if you’re going to throw a slider right down the middle against arguably the best batter in baseball, expect him to send it soaring out of the park.
Therefore, a more effective strategy might involve improving pitch quality rather than making claims that Judge might have cheated.