It was the end of July, on the hot days of the holidays. Aaron Judge was running home like I was eating Skittles nonstop.
It was sent yesterday at 08:45.
Four against the royals. Three against the Orioles. One against the Mets. Another against the Astros. All this in just 10 days. Extraordinary. At home, New York Yankees sloth became a topic of conversation for lunch, dinner, dinner, and even on the pillow, until my darling reminded me of our prenuptial agreement mentioned earlier in this column. .
“We don’t talk about baseball after 10pm anymore.”
Yeah, but honey, the Yankees are playing in Houston tonight. The match starts in an hour anyway.
Wow. Are you sleeping? The referee dropped to two points.
Our children were more enthusiastic. They dusted their game MLB: The show. They started watching Yankees games on TV. Then the idea arose: What if we went to see Aaron Judge play himself in New York?
Tickets were not expensive. $15 per person on the balcony. Two days later we left the car in Albany, took the train to Manhattan, and then took the subway to the Bronx. Along the way, I tried to remember whether I had traveled abroad to see a particular athlete.
It was the first time.
We were sitting high. It’s too high. But even this far from the action, Aaron Judge is beyond doubt. Hulk in blue and white striped pajamas. Six feet, seven inches, 282 pounds. The size 17 shoe stick looks like a toothpick in your hand. It commands respect. Number. More. It represents respect.
How to face
By throwing it around the capture zone. Now, the Judge’s arms cover quite a large area. Therefore, shooters should aim further if they do not want to be the next victim of its destructive momentum. This is what happened on the first night of our stay in New York. The sailors gave him three marches.
His dominance reminds me of another powerful hitter I was lucky enough to have early in my career: Barry Bonds. In 2001, the Bonds broke the single-season homer record with 73. That same summer, he broke the home record with 177. Wait, the best is yet to come. In 2004, 232 – 120 of them deliberately walked the Bonds. No other player in history has taken more than 45 deliberate walks in a season!
There is no doubt that Barry Bonds is more dominant than Aaron Judge. Apart from that, San Francisco Giants outfielder BALCO was involved in lab doping scandal. Judge, he’s not the subject of any doubt. Its strength comes not from a magic balm until proven otherwise, but from hard training and an extremely advantageous inheritance.
It partially explains why baseball fans were impressed by his hunt for the greatest batters in history. On Thursday night, Judge was in 60 home runs. The legendary brand of Babe Ruth. Next up: Yankees, American League and clean player records held by Roger Maris (61). After that ? Only three players remain, all of whom are suspected or convicted of doping: Sammy Sosa (64), Mark McGwire (70) and Bonds (73).
Will he be able to keep up with them in the last two weeks?
I’m not going to bet against him.
* * *
Aaron Judge is lucky for Major League Baseball to be on fire. The Yankees outfielder represents the only spark of a dull end to the season.
11 of the twelve clubs that will participate in the playoffs have already been announced. At least, their chances of qualifying are over 95%, according to FanGraphs. In the next few days we will encounter hundreds of no-bet games for local fans. This is boring.
Worst? It was extremely predictable. I made my predictions from the beginning of the season. Almost everything was fine. I even guessed the exact order of all the clubs in the three divisions.
I’m not writing this to brag. Okay, a little bit. But the reality is that baseball is now divided into two groups: very good clubs and very bad clubs. The middle class between the two is shrinking.
Teams by win rate
- Over 55%: 10
- Between 50% and 55%: 5
- Between 45% and 50%: 4
- Less than 45%: 11
This is partly due to greater economic disparities in major league baseballs than in leagues with more restrictive salary caps. But there’s another culprit: the rebuilding mirage. About half of the organizations are involved in this process.
Competition at the base of the standings is so fierce that owning a crappy club no longer guarantees you a top-three finish. So, the last of the class is flooding. The Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates will miss the playoffs for the seventh season in a row. Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels? Eighth time in a row. The Mariners will return to the playoffs after a 20-year hiatus.
However, the distinction is good in that elite clubs are really exciting. Fierce October. Long live the series. I look forward to epic duels every night.
I’m looking forward to it!
And honey, if Aaron Judge plays a winning grand slam after 10pm, do you want me to wake you up?