Back in 2017, when Aaron Judge was rampaging as a rookie and leading a scrappy-but-undermanned Yankees team to the precipice of the World Series, it became clear that, no matter how things finished, the kid was certifiably mythical.
Despite a shoulder injury midway through that campaign (resulting from striking the baseballs a little too hard at the Home Run Derby in Miami), Judge still finished the season with a league-leading 52 homers, leading to thousands of Yankee haters tearing up their “Andrew Benintendi Rookie of the Year” betting slips in disgust.
That year, Judge set his first home run record, passing Mark McGwire’s 49 to set the all-time rookie mark, en route to a Rookie of the Year win and an MVP … [REDACTED].
In fact, Judge hit two homers in that particular game on Sept. 25 against the Royals, a rescheduled rainout, to reach the 50-dinger plateau and place Big Mac in the rearview.
To celebrate the occasion, the Yankees posted a tweet poking fun at Judge’s accomplishment, featuring an imagined conversation where shortstop Didi Gregorius acted unimpressed and implored Judge to “call [him] when he hit 60.”
Is now a good time, Didi?
Yankees predicted Aaron Judge’s 60th home run in 2017
Not sure why Didi was the one who’d be the recipient of a theoretical phone call after a hypothetical home run. Not known for his pop, and never topping 27 homers in a campaign (2018, the very next season), the affable shortstop probably wouldn’t have wanted to hear Judge brag about his dinger prowess in that case, anyway.
But what’s tweeted is tweeted, and the official MLB account hopped on this magical old Didi tweet a few minutes after the Yankees’ madcap win over the Pirates went final.
Believe it or not, the terminally-online Gregorius sent a tweet of his own out pretty quickly after the five-year-old joke started recirculating.
Soaking it up, Gregorius noted that he was yet to receive a phone call, but was waiting … before signing off with his take on the endless Judge/Ohtani debate that’s been weighing the community down for months.
MVP YEAR INDEED.
Gregorius, now 32, signed a multi-year deal with the Phillies after a post-Tommy John “prove it” contract in 2020.
The end to his Yankees tenure wasn’t what anyone imagined back when he was acting as a postseason saving grace in 2017, or even as a grand-slamming leader during the “Next Man Up” 2019 season.
There are still fans out there who’d like him back, though, especially after the Phillies let him walk midstream in 2022. Any chance we could at least get a postseason first pitch or something?
Don’t rule it out…
Sir Didi! Having ideas!
Maybe he and the Yankees should team up to tweet something about what team Judge is playing on in 2027. Could really clear up a lot of worries right now to see that drop onto the timeline.