Yankees: MLB being upset at Aaron Judge is ridiculous

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Aaron Judge
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Aaron Judge /

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge getting in trouble about his recent comments to Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is the reason professional athletes give generic statements to the media. Sadly, speaking your mind is unacceptable.

One of the reasons Aaron Judge is the new face of baseball is how genuine of a human being he is. Yeah, there’s the otherworldly rookie numbers and subsequent awards he achieved in 2017, but the 25-year-old Yankees right fielder is a good person, raised by a loving family that instituted values and the importance of always telling the truth.

Following Wednesday’s Spring Training contest against the Orioles, Judge learned certain things need to be kept close to the vest.

With a big, child-like grin, Judge told members of the media what he mentioned to Orioles’ shortstop Manny Machado when the two came across one-another on the field in Sarasota, FLA.

"“Adding him to our lineup that we already got would be something special,” Judge told reporters. “I told him he’d look good in pinstripes."

According to the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Machado laughed off Judge’s comment. Then Judge continued explaining himself to the media, getting himself into hotter water.

"“He’s one of the best — if not the best — defensive third basemen in the game, and now he’s probably going to be one of the best defensive shortstops. With what he brings on the offensive side of it, he’s the complete package. He’s going to be a happy man when it comes to free agency, and picking where he wants to go.”"

Upon learning what Judge said, MLB went into panic mode, essentially issuing a gag order to the Yankees and their young star. Coley Harvey of ESPN reported:

"“We have been in contact with the Yankees. They communicated to us that Mr. Judge’s off the cuff comments were not appropriate and not authorized by the club,” the league said in its statement. “They will speak to him to make sure that this does not happen again.”"

I’m confused with the direction Major League Baseball is headed. On the one hand, commissioner Rob Manfred wants to appeal to a younger generation — market its players similarly to the way the NBA does, all the while speeding up the duration of games so the SnapChat crowd “gets it.”

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Coming down on Judge like a middle school vice principal sends the opposite message.

Manfred should spend some time with NBA commish Adam Silver. While “tampering” is still outlawed in LeBron’s league, you routinely see players like Joel Embiid of the 76ers post social media messages, suggesting King James take his talents to Philly this summer.

Has anyone reprimanded ‘The Process’? If they have, the public hasn’t heard about it.

But Manfred is more concerned with turning minor league games in MTV Rock ‘N Jock softball, circa 2000. The pace of play changes for all levels of the minors now includes a 15-second pitch clock, starting a runner on second-base during extra-innings and a maximum six mound visits at the Triple-A level.

What’s next, a five-run homer if the ball lands inside the clown’s mouth in left-center field — or a ghost runner on first, so pitchers don’t have to run the bases?

The Baltimore Sun asked Yankees manager Aaron Boone about the exchange between Judge and Machado.

"“I don’t think he said that,” the manager replied. “I’ll leave that one alone.”"

Leave it alone should be Manfred’s motto. Sadly, it’s a lesson Judge has now learned — that he cannot offer total transparency in his comments because the powers that be don’t want honesty and fun if it’s not in their best interests.

Next: Yanks should buyout Judge's pre-arbitration years

Regardless of the fact that writers have all but signed Machado’s name on a Yankees contract for 2019, or that Machado wears No. 13 for his all-time favorite player, Alex Rodriguez, Judge is an intelligent kid — and it didn’t take long for him to get the message.

"“It just kind of came up in passing,” he said. “Now I know. You learn something new every day.”"