The New York Yankees successfully extended Aaron Judge on a nine-year, $360 million deal this off-season. Paying him $40 million per season is certainly a significant reward after putting together a historic 2022 campaign.
For a player that hit .311 with a .425 OBP, 62 homers, and 131 RBIs, it is crazy to think that fans booed him at certain points in the season. Notably, Judge heard plenty of criticism during the playoffs when he hit a measly .139 with a .184 OBP. Regular season numbers are important, but failing to hit in the playoffs is the difference between true success and squandering opportunities.
In fact, across 44 playoff games, Judge has hit a combined .211 with a .310 OBP, well below his regular season averages. For whatever reason, pitchers show more aggressiveness, and Judge has failed to rise to the occasion over the past few years. He did have incredible 2018 and 2019 playoff runs, but he’s otherwise struggled.
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The Yankees should never hear a boo regarding Aaron Judge:
Despite that reality, booing Aaron Judge may be one of the more foolish things a fan could do. Considering he represented the Yankees’ entire offense in the second half of the 2022 campaign, making the playoffs would’ve been an afterthought if not for his contributions.
Former Red Sox star and Hall of Fame slugger David Ortiz had some harsh words for Yankee fans.
“This Yankee fan was talking s— about my boy Aaron Judge,” Ortiz recalled. “… This is what I told him: I was like, ‘Hey, have you ever taken a minute to picture the Yankees lineup without Aaron Judge next year?’ And this motherf—-er stayed quiet for a minute.”Via the “Games with Names” podcast.
Yankee fans are known for their hostility and harsh criticism of players, and aiming those negative words toward Aaron Judge doesn’t sit well with some. Ortiz has a valid point, but the passion Yankee fans display is unparalleled, which sometimes can be voiced negatively.
“Aaron Judge, the minute he cools off, even during the regular season, he gets the biggest boos,” Ortiz said. “Let me tell you, as an athlete, you will take that from the opposition when you go to their place. But when you get that s— at home, bro, not good.
The Yankees have their fair share of challenges this upcoming off-season, and fans have certainly discussed every decision in detail.
Whether it be the decision to trot Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks back out into starting roles or failing to add a new competitive left fielder certainly bubbles to the surface. Nonetheless, general manager Brian Cashman has been polarizing the past few seasons, finding a few gems in smaller deals but striking out consistently with big trades and acquisitions. There’s plenty to be criticized, but Judge should certainly be left out of the equation.