What a day. New York Yankees star Aaron Judge was the recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award and he appeared at Game 3 of the World Series to speak with the media and get some face-to-face with the fans in attendance.
He answered questions from Mookie Betts. He signed autographs. He talked about what an honor it was to be recognized for all that he accomplished over the past year and to be associated with one of the greatest players of all time. The award says it all: "the player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and contributions on and off the field."
It was (and still is) a celebratory moment for Judge, the Yankees captain and leader. Yankees fans know how well-deserved this is, too, because they see how hard he works on his game and with endeavors in his personal life.
Judge is exemplary in so many ways. That's why he's revered and loved by the fanbase. He represents all that is right with the Yankees' organization.
But unfortunately, ever since 2010, and especially during Judge's tenure, there's been a lot wrong with the organization. The Yankees are in the midst of the longest World Series drought in non-Highlanders franchise history with the best player they've had since Alex Rodriguez. And sometimes the Yankees' way of doing things (incorrectly) is communicated indirectly, like right here with Judge.
Aaron Judge's Roberto Clemente Award announcement came with Yankees concern
Judge, when he initially got the call to be given the Roberto Clemente Award, was nervous that a trade was going down because of the unexpected nature of the news. What's there to be nervous about a trade, though, unless you're confident in your front office to do the right thing?
Despite the fact Judge has a full no-trade clause, it sure sounds like part of the concern here was that he thought he was being traded? Either that, or he perhaps figured one of his close teammates was getting traded? There's little reason to be concerned about a trade going down unless there's doubt in the process, which Judge indirectly confirmed this offseason when he talked about changes the Yankees needed to make.
He actually reiterated that on Monday, too, which definitely has fans excited yet concerned at the same time when you sit back and realize how much needs to get done in order to turn everything around.
This isn't intentionally to take shine off of Judge's momentous day that built upon his legacy. It's not to overshadow the fact earned the Roberto Clemente Award because of his acts of selflessness and humility.
But it is a bit unsettling that a day that was supposed to be spent highlighting such admirable accomplishments was a bit overshadowed by the Yankees' incompetence and overall lack of trust. Or at least that's what it felt like to some of us dejected fans.