When Aaron Judge took Zack Greinke deep to the tune of a 419-foot bomb on a changeup offering to give the New York Yankees the lead over the Houston Astros, the highlight of that moment came as he was about to round third base.
The broadcast caught Judge gesturing toward the Yankees’ dugout as he tugged his jersey and pulled it together with both hands.
Immediately, that led many to believe he was trolling Astros star Jose Altuve, who famously did the same thing as he approached home plate back in 2019 when he hit a walk-off home run in Game 6 of the ALCS to eliminate the Yankees from the postseason and send Houston to the World Series.
Many suspected — though it hasn’t been proven — that Altuve was wearing a buzzer as a part of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Altuve immediately ran into the locker room after getting mobbed by his teammates, changed out of his jersey, and spoke to the media. Hmmm.
The history between Judge and Altuve dates back to 2017, too. These two duked it out for the AL MVP, with Judge besting Altuve in a number of key statistics, only to see the Astros star come away with the award … in the season Houston was found guilty of cheating.
So it’s no wonder everyone immediately drew the parallel to Altuve’s Game 6 gesture and chalked it up as a troll. But if you ask Judge … well, he had the best response possible.
“Everyone’s welcome to their own opinion,” Judge said as he smirked and answered the follow-up question from ESPN’s Marly Rivera. Couldn’t ask for a better response from the Yankees star.
Aaron Judge’s response to allegedly trolling Jose Altuve was awesome.
We’ve been waiting for the Yankees’ big guns to be more vocal, express more emotion, and stick it to their opponents, especially a guy like Judge, who’s far and away the team’s best offensive player. He’s not usually the type of guy to put himself in this kind of spotlight, but he really nailed it from start to finish.
Leave a gesture open for interpretation and give a facetious answer when responding to a question about it. Perfect.
Now, on Sunday, the Yankees will go for the series sweep right before the All-Star break. They could use more of this energy after scoring just one run on Saturday in a win that was powered by Gerrit Cole’s incredible career-best start.
And if there are any more opportunities to troll Altuve or another Astros player, the Yankees better be up for it, because Judge proved he is. If the soft-spoken Yankees’ leader is taking shots, then it’s very much open season for the rest of the roster.