Finally, the Houston Astros didn’t do something that forced us to criticize them. It’s fun and all, but it’s getting old.
Let’s talk about a New York Yankees-centric topic, shall we? A positive one, too! Aaron Judge represented the Bombers at the 2021 All-Star Game in Colorado on Tuesday night and he didn’t disappoint.
He was the only Yankee voted to the Midsummer Classic that actually played. Remember, Gerrit Cole threw 129 pitches on Saturday and had to pass up the opportunity to take the bump while Aroldis Chapman is … unpitchable.
But anyway, Judge was among the front-and-center figures featured in the American League’s dominant 5-2 victory over the National League.
First and foremost, Judge, along with Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman, walked out Mrs. Billye Aaron to the field as she and her late husband Hank Aaron were honored in front of the crowd at Coors Field. As you know, this game was supposed to be held in Atlanta, which would have made for a much more intimate ceremony in wake of Aaron’s passing back in January.
Nonetheless, an incredible moment it was.
Every player during the Home Run Derby on Monday night wore the No. 44 to remember the Hall of Famer, too. But this moment, without a doubt, meant a lot to Judge for obvious reasons.
Yankees OF Aaron Judge’s presence at the All-Star Game was the best part of 2021.
But there were plenty more moments for the Yankees’ best slugger. In the second inning, he led things off with a walk and eventually scored the game’s first run on an RBI groundout.
Before that, Freeman, who was mic’d up with the broadcast booth, hilariously revealed he was afraid Judge was going to get on base and make him look small. And he did.
For context, Freeman is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. Judge is truly larger than life.
Though the Yankees’ star didn’t register a hit (he went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored), he got to show off his defensive abilities — which, one could argue, are an underrated aspect of his game on the national level. New York fans know how reliable he is in the outfield, though, and every fan got to see his range when he robbed Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds of extra bases here.
Just don’t get hurt!!
We’ve seen a lot of that in 2021, but now the world knows. Judge may seem like a lumbering giant, but he can move and cover ground with his superior athleticism despite his size.
All in all, it was a fun night and it could very well be the most pleasant aspect of the 2021 New York Yankees’ season based on how everything’s transpired so far.
We’re no doubt going to hope for a second-half surge from the Bombers, as they trail the Boston Red Sox by eight games for the AL East lead as well as the Oakland Athletics by 4.5 games in the Wild Card race, but it will be an uphill battle for the next two and a half months.
For now, that reprieve from underachieving Yankees baseball was much-needed and Judge’s presence, role and performance at the All-Star Game provided a reset we didn’t know was essential.