Will the Yankees Judge’s Chambers be retired along with thumbs down, famously begun by Todd Frazier last season?
In May of 2017, Yankee Stadium debuted the Judge’s Chambers in Section 104, a paneled area of 18 seats arranged in three rows, set below and adjacent to the right-field bleachers, to cheer on the American League Rookie of the Month and Statcast phenomenon, Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge.
Then, on December 11, the Yankees acquired National League MVP and home run champion Giancarlo Stanton in a trade with the Marlins; and expectations for the Yanks and their right-fielder Aaron Judge skyrocketed.
Yankee Stadium now has a pair of right fielders to roam the real estate below the Judge’s Chambers.
Undoubtedly, with Todd Frazier gone across town to the Mets, the thumbs down gimmick will be gone, and I would argue, so too, will the Yankees Judge’s Chambers.
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General manager Brian Cashman spoke recently about reaching out to each player separately regarding playing right field and consenting to be in the lineup as the designated hitter, testing; he said, each man’s “selflessness.”
Judge and Stanton passed the test, and, unless Stanton takes up robes, my guess is the Judge’s Chambers will become part of Yankee lore.
Bob Costas has said of Stanton and Judge, that they “have a quality of myth and legend” about them, and they haven’t even set foot on the playing field together yet.
With the accolades of 2017 already in the rear-view mirror, Stanton and Judge look to meet the high expectations that are as close as Opening Day. Cliff Corcoran of sportsonearth.com writes:
"Stanton and Judge will make history come Opening Day. That’s when they will take the field as the just the second pair of teammates to both be coming off seasons of 50 or more home runs. The only other time that happened was in 1962, when the Yankees’ Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle attempted to follow up their magical “M&M Boys” season."
Last season, Stanton (59) and Judge (52) combined for 111 home runs, which would have placed them second on the all-time list for teammates behind Maris and Mantle who teamed up for 115 home runs in 1961.
As a result, Yankees’ fans will be looking for record-breaking performances from these two talented sluggers, individually and together.
Aaron Judge was interviewed on Wednesday and said:
The historic pairing of Judge and Stanton makes the Yankees heavy favorites to reach the World Series.
In a press conference on Tuesday, manager Aaron Boone was asked what his goal was for this season — and his answer was, “Win the last game.”
Boone is fully aware that winning is the expectation not only of every Yankee team but this team, in particular, coming off a season in which they came within one game of the World Series.
Stanton and Judge are at the core of the Yankees’ World Series pursuit in 2018, and the Yankees and their fans hope this year’s expectations become achievements — and myths become realities.