Yankees fans want to believe ... so badly. They'd love to take good news at face value. It would be a life-changing reality if the people who watched this team were able to listen to those in charge of it speak, smile and nod, then carry on, knowing all of their burning questions had been definitively answered.
Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. Every declaration of health must be second-guessed. Every confident statement must be pinpricked. There was nothing "bigger than Rodón" still to come.
And so, when manager (for now!) Aaron Boone appeared on the Talkin' Yanks podcast for his weekly segment with Jomboy and Jake on Tuesday afternoon and stated that Aaron Judge would not need surgery on his toe and surely wasn't risking a procedure by playing through discomfort, fans responded in the only way they know how: Harsh Skepticism, baby.
Yankees fans aren't buying Aaron Boone's positive Aaron Judge injury update
Not only did a wide swath of the replies assert that this did not affect their confident level in Judge's health at all, but a large cluster of them predicted foot amputation. That won't happen unless Judge adds frostbite to his injury docket, but still ... very telling that so many people used the comic trope of "heightening" to get to the same place!
The Yankees lie. They lie, lie, lie. If Judge has a foot when Green Day wakes me up and September ends, I guess we should consider that a win.
Odds are Judge would not be playing at all if there were a significant risk to his future productivity every time he stepped on the field. The risk isn't zero, though. It was unlikely he'd run toe-first into a cement block at Dodger Stadium, and by God, he certainly did that, didn't he?
Also, how have they not fixed that wall yet? It's happening to more people!
The fear isn't necessarily that Judge doubles the damage by playing at game speed, though. The fear is that the team treats the injury as if the best they're able to do is wait until it heals on its own. Then, when Judge struggles to regain his strength next spring, he suddenly pivots to surgery, sapping the Yankees of a half-year when they could've jumped to conclusions (correctly) this summer.
DJ LeMahieu's toe pain somehow healed entirely (we think?) over this past winter, though LeMahieu still took an awfully long time to get in the swing of things in 2023 (and maybe never has, outside of a pre-calf injury bump in early August).
If Judge "doesn't need" the surgery now, then he'd better also not need it in February. Otherwise, there'll be hell to pay in the X replies.
Boone might not read them, though. After all, he'll be an X manager.