Yankees: Aaron Judge’s Stiff Neck is Obviously Worrisome

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees bats during summer workouts at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees bats during summer workouts at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Aaron Judge is out of the New York Yankees lineup again with a stiff neck.

No, I’m not a conspiracy theorist who thinks that Yankees star Aaron Judge’s stiff neck is “bad bones disease,” which will sideline him for the 2020 season.

I also see no reason for Judge to push himself if he’s feeling anything less than 100% prior to a meaningless summer intra-squad game.

It’s absolutely fine for Judge to skip two straight days of workouts in an effort to get his neck right, which he initially aggravated through a bad night’s sleep on Friday evening. But based on Judge’s history, both recent and ancient, it’s fair for Yankees fans to worry about this as a potentially lingering side effect from his fractured rib, and a slightly bigger deal than an unanticipated 48-hour kink.

Once again, I am not calling for gloom and doom.

But when Aaron Boone downplayed this injury’s impact on Saturday, did a single Yankees fan living on planet earth think Judge was playing on Sunday? No. Not a one. Because we rightfully don’t trust the best-case scenario, and won’t digest a single appraisal of Judge’s health at face value until we see him play seven days a week, launching the moonshots we know he’s capable of.

Everything Boone and Co. are saying here is correct. There’s no reason to “test” Judge if he’s not feeling ready.

But we, as Yankee fans, are simply left wondering why this has to be the narrative every other week. Why there’s even something bugging Judge to the point where playing would be a test. How this keeps happening.

There’s nothing better than a healthy Judge, who’d absolutely be playing with a stiff neck in mid-October. After all, he played through a rib fracture in 2019.

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You cannot question this guy’s toughness, but you can question why this is a hand Yankee fans are dealt ludicrously often.

Remember, his initial rib fracture was a sore shoulder before it was a pec issue and a punctured lung. Every Yankees injury is a never-ending story.

None of us are worried about Judge’s stiff neck being the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But it’s fine to worry about how this stuff just keeps happening.