Former All-Star outfielder Jose Canseco has not been shy about sharing his criticisms of Major League Baseball in recent years. Late on Monday night, he turned his attention toward Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees, and their fanbase.
Starting around midnight eastern time, Canseco began a six-tweet plea to impending free agent Aaron Judge to leave New York as quickly as he can. Canseco’s first tweet urged Judge to “run don’t walk for the nearest exit” because New York “is a dump and the fans are awful.”
The former outfielder made it clear that he was not intending any of this to be critical of Judge himself when he next referred to Judge as “the God of baseball,” but maintained that New York fans would “have easily crucified [Judge] at times.”
While many can see Canseco’s comments as either the rantings of a former steroid user or the bitterness of a one-time Yankee (he played 37 games in 2000). Many are also pointing to Canseco’s weird feud with Alex Rodriguez, allegedly over Canseco’s belief that Rodriguez slept with his ex-wife. However, his comments come on the heels of multiple instances of troubling treatment of Judge by the Yankee fanbase.
During the playoff series against Houston, Judge was booed by fans despite almost single-handedly carrying them to the playoffs on the back of a season that saw him hit .311/.425/.686 with 62 HRs, 131 RBI, 133 Runs, and 16 stolen bases. Then, former WFAN radio host Mike Francesa claimed on his podcast that Yankee fans had every right to boo Judge because he hit .063 during the Houston series and fans wanted a World Series appearance.
Given that, Canseco’s words of caution to Judge might not be too misplaced. He warned the slugger that “even if [Judge] were to replicate the season [he]had again the fans would still hate you.” While “hate” is likely taking it too far, Francesa’s comments indicate that fans might not care what Judge does during the regular season if the Yankees can’t win a title.
However, other parts of Canseco’s message are clearly tinged by a bitter resentment he feels towards New York. In addition to mistakenly referring to the Yankee as “Karen Judge” while tweeting using talk-to-text, which easily dampens the credibility of his message, the former six-time All-Star also said New York is known for “the most psychologically damaged” people in the world. Although, here it also seems like the retired slugger wanted to delete that monicker and refer to New Yorkers as the angriest people in the world; although, that edit is unlikely to matter to New Yorkers.
Mr. 40/40, as he calls himself, ended his rant, after he told Judge he could hit a softball farther than Judge could hit a baseball, by predicting that the Yankees “will implode and then explode in the year 2023” and “most likely come in last place.”
While the physics of the team both imploding and exploding needs more looking into, the former Yankee is just another in a long line of people speculating on what Aaron Judge will do this offseason. After rejecting the Yankees’ contract offer before the season and betting on himself, he put together an MVP-caliber season and will likely have his pick of teams all offering him a major deal in just a few months.
With his relationship with New York being put under a microscope of late, it’s not out of the question that he could seek greener pastures elsewhere. Whether he cares about the pleas of Canseco or not.