Aaron Judge. Under Fire: Accused of Breaking Baseball’s Unwritten Rules”

TAMPA — I want to discuss an inaccuracy:

That the Yankees’ offense was bad last year.

Don’t misunderstand. The Yankees’ offense was, indeed, lousy last year.

It is just that last season is often framed to suggest that the attack fell off a high cliff. When in actuality the Yankees’ offense has been pretty bad the past three seasons.

They were 19th out of the 30 teams in run scored per game in 2021. They were 25th last year. Those that want to act like 2023 was an anomaly note that the Yankees were second in 2022.

But that was based on baseball being as much like basketball as I’ve ever seen — when one player, Aaron Judge, carried the offense like he was Allen Iverson with the Larry Brown 76ers. OK, forgive another basketball analogy, but saying that the Yankees averaged 4.98 runs per game in 2022 and not giving context to how they got there was like saying Wilt Chamberlain and Al Attles combined for 117 points for the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2, 1962.

That season Judge’s 1.111 OPS was the best by a Yankee since Mickey Mantle’s 1956 Triple Crown campaign and the rest of the team was .708, or what Billy Martin had in 1956. This particularly exacerbated in the second half as Judge thrived toward a historic 62 homers and near single-handedly helped the Yankees hold on to win the AL East with a 1.286 OPS, while the rest of the team managed .652 or what would have been the fourth worst after the All-Star break.

Judge hadn’t played since March 10, when he struck out in both at-bats against Atlanta. He hit a 106.4 mph liner to right center in the first inning that drove in Juan Soto. Judge scored when Stanton hit a 455-foot homer that cleared the batter’s eye in straightaway center field, the first of his three home runs against left-hander Marco Gonzales.

TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Judge had an RBI double in his first at-bat in Wednesday night’s game against Pittsburgh after sitting out nine days with an abdominal injury, and fellow New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit 3 home runs with 8 RBIs in a 12-0 win over the Pirates.

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