Social media is gospel in 2021 — especially Aaron Judge’s social media, where everything is done for a reason and every Yankees series win video goes up immediately following the last out, even if the final game of a three-game set was some horrific loss.
Judge’s Instagram use is extremely calculated, likely more so than any Yankee. Though he’s not an official captain yet, he’s the clear brand ambassador for the pinstripes (as well as many, many, many affiliated brands). What he says goes … as long as 35 PR people all approve of what he’s saying.
So … why, in the wake of the team’s massive roster shuffle on Friday night, did Judge only pay tribute to one of the three impactful 2021 Yankees who were let go?
And why was the only one he picked the player who had been there by far the shortest length of time and possessed the least personal history with big No. 99?
Either Rougned Odor had a far bigger impact on the Yankees than we’ll ever know, or there’s something going on with Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier.
Maybe Judge is still processing?
Yankees star Aaron Judge only paid tribute to Rougned Odor on IG
Of all the players jettisoned on Friday night, Judge only posted a tribute to Odor, who energized the team for 2021 and 2021 alone?
The Wade omission is the most stunning. Didn’t he … come up through the minors with the utility infielder? Weren’t they seemingly always at the center of bench celebrations these past few years, even as Wade struggled to establish himself with the bat or shrug off a series of little league base running mistakes?
The last Yankees win of 2021 was capped by Judge’s first walk-off hit, which Wade was asked about in the postgame. He spoke glowingly of the team’s “heartbeat,” as we would’ve expected.
Maybe Judge is still processing Wade’s departure? That seems like the only good reason for the omission.
As for Frazier … it really is possible that something fractured between him and the team long ago. Judge represents “tradition,” while Frazier has always represented the new blood in the Yankees locker room, and it felt like — at their respective peaks — these two energies could coexist.
After Frazier found himself laid up with a terrible recurrence of his post-concussion side effects, though, maybe the chasm grew too wide.
We’ll never know, but it’s certainly strange to see two long-time Yankees and a 2021 cameo get jettisoned on the same day, and to only see Judge pay tribute to one of them, the shortest-term spark plug of them all.