In what feels like an endless continuation of 2019, which bled into 2020, which left us here, the Yankees have run into a snag with Aaron Judge, and hope that closing their eyes and shaking their heads will make it go away.
Judge was pulled in the late innings of a 7-0 game on Tuesday before being benched on Wednesday. After we were assured for a week that nothing was plaguing him, Aaron Boone elevated the explanation to “general soreness” in his side, and we all played the waiting game for two days.
As anticipated, Judge is not in Friday’s lineup on Satan’s turf in Tampa.
Notice how I didn’t single out Boone in the headline? It’s because blaming the manager for a clear, nonsensical consensus has become almost as hackneyed as complaining every time Judge gets hurt.
Preserving Judge’s well-being in an early April series isn’t the worst idea in the world, but the mealy-mouthed messages that Boone, Brian Cashman and all their cohorts keep agreeing on feeding the media and their paying customers remain the worst.
Luckily (?), we were gifted with another on Friday afternoon.
Yankees star Aaron Judge is out Friday, nursing side soreness.
Looking forward to Saturday, when the team decides to wait another day, arguing that Judge’s tooth surgery knocked his balance out of whack.
For a team that’s struggled mightily containing injuries these past few years, they continue to be misaligned with where this fan base’s anger actually lies.
If Judge is hurt? Bummer, but fine. If Judge gets misdiagnosed because the team declines to run tests, then misses extra time because of malfeasance? That’s what gets us mad.
At some point, perhaps we’ll stop being lied to. For now, we’re left to parse strange videos of Judge stretching on the field looking lithe with his teammates, minutes before he’s pulled from another game.
Can Judge play through this injury? Probably. Does he need to? No.
If the injury’s severe enough to keep him out of two straight games, why is he stretching on the field? Beats me!
Why is the team being so coy about their star potentially pinch-hitting later? Because they think you’re dumb, I guess? If Judge plays one inning, the team will have wasted three days of rest on his IL clock, and won’t be able to make his stay “retroactive” to any previous date. It’s not happening.
Following this team has long been lunacy, mostly because — despite facing more injuries than any other club — they seem to have no chain of command for dealing with them. Though this is just one small blip on the radar (probably?), you truly wonder if the cost of doing business with Judge exceeds what Hal Steinbrenner is willing to pay, especially as the front office and dugout staff runs in circles again to try to contain their own narrative.