photos: sportingnews.com, usa today
On top of being a fantastic talent with years ahead of him, Aaron Judge has been a class act on and off the field in his early career with the Yankees. Which is why I was surprised he chose to crank up Yankee Stadiums’ closing ballad, Frank Sinatra’s, New York, New York on a boom box while exiting Fenway Park after the Yankees game 2 victory. I thought that type of antic would be beneath a team leader, who has quickly become an icon in New York. Was it a difference maker in the series? Absolutely not. Perhaps it stoked a little more incentive but the Red Sox are a good team that did not require any additional motivation going into the Bronx with the division series on the line.
I don’t think anyone expected the Red Sox to win two at Yankee Stadium but let’s be clear, it was good pitching and timely hitting that got it done, not additional incitement. Of course the Red Sox couldn’t help themselves and took the opportunity to blast the Sinatra ballad in their clubhouse while popping the bubbly. Instead of a great opportunity to rise above Judge’s poor sportsmanship, they chose to join him. Ahh…. that low hanging fruit. Celebrating on the Yankee stadium infield should be sweet enough, taking the low road in the clubhouse was just unnecessary.
While Judge and the Red Sox actions were both wrong, what will result from all this is an already scorching rivalry will actually be turned up even higher. Everyone in Boston will remember Judges’ final Fenway exit and the Sox celebration will be burned into the memory of Yankee players and fans in New York. Start spreading the news, the most heated rivalry in sports will be even hotter next season.