17 May, 2023
When facing Yankees star Aaron Judge, who has come under fire for a sideways glance before hitting a massive home run off Blue Jays pitcher Jay Jackson, the Toronto right-hander admitted to tipping his pitches.
Prior to his 462-foot home run against Jackson on Monday in the eighth inning, television cameras saw Judge giving the Yankees’ first-base dugout a quick peek.
Although Judge’s glance was described as “kind of odd” by Toronto manager John Schneider and the Blue Jays’ commentators as looking for a signal, Jackson provided a clear response in an interview with The Athletic.
“From what I was told, I was kind of tipping the pitch,” Jackson told The Athletic as part of a report published Wednesday. “It was [less] my grip when I was coming behind my ear. It was the time it was taking me from my set position, from my glove coming from my head to my hip. On fastballs, I was kind of doing it quicker than on sliders. They were kind of picking up on it.”
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Judge hit his second home run of the game, adding that he was attempting to figure out “who was chirping from our dugout” in reference to plate umpire Clint Vondrak.
Judge’s explanation, however, was not accepted by the Blue Jays, and Schneider suggested that the current American League MVP might have been getting cues from Yankees first-base instructor Travis Chapman.
“If they knew it was coming and he clipped me, he clipped me,” Jackson said to The Athletic. “I’m pleased with how far he hit it.”
Jackson’s sixth straight slider of the at-bat, a 3-2 slider, was the pitch that drove in Judge. Before the game on Tuesday, Jackson, who had been dropped to the minors, claimed that several Blue Jays players had told him he was tipping pitches.
“One of the guys told me I might have been tipping my pitches,” he said to The Athletic. “Then, after a while, the video man returned and said, ‘Hey, we might have picked up something on the distinction between your slider and fastball. The thing those men were keying off of could have been it. Just be aware of it. Next time, you might want to try something else.
The Yankees have not been charged with breaking Major League Baseball regulations by allegedly utilizing technological devices to decode the Blue Jays’ signs.
“If you’re doing things in plain sight, I think that you have to be able to correct them and you have to be willing to have the consequences be what they are,” Schneider told reporters, according to The Athletic. “If it’s done fairly — that’s part of the game. Everyone’s looking to help their teammates, everyone’s looking to pick up on tendencies, so anything that’s happening on the field in the right way — totally fair game.”
During Tuesday’s game, the Blue Jays brought up the subject of where Chapman and third-base coach Luis Rojas were standing once more, which sparked a brief altercation between Schneider, Rojas, Yankees manager Aaron Boone, and Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker.
It is not against MLB rules to decipher an opponent’s signals without the use of technology and communicate them to a batter, and Boone called the debates concerning coach positioning “tired.”
It’s absurd, Boone declared. It’s absurd, and I believe everyone recognizes it, hopefully on both sides.
The Yankees won 6-3 thanks to Judge’s two-run home drive in the eighth inning, which snapped the tie and gave Judge another monster home run. The white maple leaf sign, which served as both the national emblem of Canada and the sponsor of the center-field bar area, West Jet, was damaged during the 448-foot drive to center field.
On Wednesday night in Toronto, the Yankees and Blue Jays continue their three-game series.