The second half of the season has given just about every Yankee fan a mild ulcer at one point or another, but Aaron Judge’s historic season that includes the chase to 61 home runs and now a shot at the Triple Crown has made this a year to remember regardless of where the team ends up.
And regardless of Judge himself wanting to acknowledge just how unique this year has been. While the Yankees have seen their once dominant lead in the AL East disappear and serious questions about just how well equipped the team is going to be to go deep in the playoffs, Judge has made the Bronx Bombers must-see baseball every single night.
Judge has navigated the tricky waters this season of contract talks, home run chases and now the Triple Crown with the same humble and steadfast approach.
“Pretty special,” Judge told Newsday about possibly getting the Triple Crown. “But I think I’m a long ways away from that so we don’t need to talk about that.”
It was a similar way that he fended off similar questions about his contract or the race to 61. After a two-run effort on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox, Judge is just four home runs away from tying Roger Maris’ home run record set in 1961.
And a hot start to the month of September has given him a realistic shot at the Triple Crown. He’s slashed 487/.583/.973 in his last 10 games.
All of this has lined up for an exciting finish with the Yankees down to their last 19 games of the regular season. Moreso, it should be a stretch that Yankee fans should take in at every chance they get.
Judge has managed to do something quite special and at times he has been the driving force behind the team’s success this season, but there’s no guarantee that he remains in pinstripes after this season.
Judge will be a free agent after this season and his time with the Yankees could very well come to an end. There will be plenty of teams beating down the door to try and sway him to come to their ballclub, including one that hails from just across town and possibly one of their biggest rivals.
The superstar slugger was asked about whether he’d ever consider signing with the Red Sox by a Boston writer this week.
“Oooh,” Judge said in response to the question. “We’ll talk about that at the end of the year.”
The end of the year will come soon enough and the daily conversations of home run records and Triple Crowns will quickly shift to contracts and where Judge will end up. Maybe at the end of the day Judge remains a Yankee for many more years to come and the Bronx Bombers back up the Brink truck for the face of their franchise.
Whatever happens, Yankees fans should take the final weeks of the season in and enjoy every Judge at-bat as he chases Maris’ record with the same humble attitude he has all year. Embrace the chase, because it could be over soon enough in more ways than one