On Monday night during the New York Yankees' victory that kicked off their four-game series in Toronto, the Blue Jays broadcast decided to manufacture some controversy -- but also claim they weren't in fact doing that -- when they called out Aaron Judge in the eighth inning.
Dan Schulman and Buck Martinez have some explaining to do. Perhaps this was karma for WFAN accusing the Tampa Bay Rays for cheating, but that wasn't on live television! During a game! That was just a talking head making an assumption about the league's best team after their incredible start.
It also wasn't directly from the voices of trusted individuals associated with the organization. What if Michael Kay, David Cone or Paul O'Neill said this?
In the top of the eighth inning with the Yankees up 5-0, Schulman and Martinez believed -- but also didn't believe! -- that they caught Judge in the act. Multiple times during the at-bat, the camera zoomed in on Judge peering toward the Yankees dugout as he was in the batter's box waiting for the pitcher's delivery.
Up until this moment, Judge was 1-for-1 with a homer and three walks. Then Schulman and Martinez insinuated he was being suspicious. Then Judge hit a 462-foot home run -- his second of the night -- off a mediocre pitcher in Jay Jackson. Then there was a debate over what Judge was doing ... but again, it was simply a conversation without anything being insinuated.
Blue Jays broadcast insinuates Yankees, Aaron Judge are cheating
"What is that? Where's he looking? And he did it more than once," the broadcast responded to the replay of Judge. All they needed was for one of the producers to insert a garbage-banging sound during the replay to bring this thing home. These guys might as well join the "unseal the letter!" crowd to try and contrive more cheating allegations against the Yankees, who, again, have mostly been unsuccessful since 2010.
But it got even better. "I have not seen that before with him. And we've both seen him a lot." You've been zooming in on Judge's eyes every time you've watched him over the years?
"Do you think he's trying to see [Alejandro] Kirk, if Kirk's away?" Schulman asked.
"But the way his head was I don't know that he could see the catcher just looking like that," Martinez responded.
So, now we must ask: what's more realistic? The Yankees stealing signs from Jay Jackson towards the end of a 5-0 game or a fan in the stands flashing Judge from above the Yankees dugout? Might be a 51-49 split if we put this to a vote.
But wait, we have an answer! At least from Judge. We'll be waiting for Astros and Red Sox fans to tell us more.
The dugout was indeed chirping, too. Aaron Boone was ejected just moments prior for yelling at the home plate umpire about a bad strike-two call on Judge during that same at-bat. Earlier in the game, the Blue Jays dugout was warned for being vocal from their side because of calls they didn't like.
Anyway, can someone please dig up Judge's splits whenever he shifts his eyesight during an at-bat? Does FanGraphs have that?
We don’t want go throwing allegations around without knowing but ... Schulman and Martinez really did their best to stir the pot and then bail out, which is -- one could say, but we're definitely not! -- disreputable for a pair of broadcasters who have been in the business for decades.