And we absolutely respect it. Whatever helps him sleep at night — without whistling.
Judge showed up to spring training on Monday, marking his arrival with a savage Instagram post.
But he made his presence fully known on Tuesday, when Big No. 99 sat down to talk extension talks (dormant) and other things and let fans in on his little secret.
When Judge opened his mouth to answer questions, it became immediately clear he’d made a major change to his appearance at some point during the offseason, which we’d perhaps not noticed before now because he instead spoke softly and carried a big stick during workouts.
Until you figure out what’s different, it’s jarring. But once you realize Judge removed the gap between his teeth, the entire picture — like a perfectly-structured jaw — locks into place.
The gap in Yankees star Aaron Judge’s teeth is gone.
This offseason, Judge rededicated himself to trying Tooth Yoga, and early dividends are extremely clear. Both those middle teeth are now doing a constant Gum Salutation.
While no one can say for sure what the final straw was that ignited Judge’s new dental process, I’m fairly positive it was the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ Christmas ornament featuring the slugger as an unfortunate nutcracker.
It might’ve motivated me to go for a new look, at least, even if I’d been supremely confident prior to its unveiling. All I’m saying.
Perhaps I’m not spending much time in the dark corners of Yankees Twitter, but the gap has brought me nothing but joy in recent years, and I haven’t noticed much sardonic discourse about it.
It simply…is a big part of Judge’s image, and Judge’s image is a big part of the Yankees. It was somewhat jarring to see it gone, replaced by an entirely different smile.
Here’s hoping this big change is only the beginning of a fresh start for Judge, who hasn’t had substantive discussions about a contract extension with the Bombers yet, with just two years left in pinstripes.
The tooth is, he’s got to play 140 games (at least) before both sides head back to the bargaining table.