New York – In the middle of the trot for the most important and historic home run in more than a decade Aaron Judge To the status quo of baseball royalty, the Yankees slugger chooses to enjoy or enjoy the moment. And an hour later, the Yankees slugger lamented that he didn’t hit his 60th home run of the 2022 season Tuesday night earlier in the game, when the bases were loaded, rather than when he celebrated. He did, the bottom of the ninth inning with them empty and the New York Pittsburgh Pirates followed.

“I was kicking myself running around the bases,” Judge said. “As a man, you idiot, you should have done this a little earlier.”

In the end, supported by his teammates and manager, Judge issued a half-hearted curtain call for those stuck inside Yankee Stadium and held by the magic. He was out of work more than needed. All season long, chasing ghosts and their associated numbers, things that are valued in the baseball world but rare in umpire, the team has been numbed by his determination to replace the individual. To him, it all felt strange, disappointing, wrong — another round number reached, but with the team still three runs down and three outs away from another loss, just as he hit 50.

Something just happened. Anthony Rizzo The foundation is reached, and then Gleyber Torresand then Josh Donaldsonand went up Giancarlo StantonAnd Will Crow He left a changeup too high, and Stanton sent it down the line over the left field wall. At this point, Judge seemed to be the first in the dugout, where he was there to greet his teammates at home plate, celebrating an improbable 9-8 victory that took an otherworldly moment of importance and consequences for him as well.

As far as believing that Judge thinks this way — team-oriented, so tunnel-visioned, that he won’t let his teammates enjoy his grace unless there’s something to celebrate — everyone around him swears it’s true. He really is like a machine on Tuesday, the reverse of the personality that handed him the one-time record Tuesday.

Babe Ruth When he hit his 60th home run in 1927 to break his own record, he shouted after the game, “Sixty! 60 of them! We’ll see another son of b—- another!” he said. He was a pure babe: a little arrogant and bombastic, grateful even when he was in history, maybe because he was used to writing. Baseball’s early record books had Ruth’s name singled out, so they felt autobiographical. In the year It was the game in the 1920s, and a century later it shows that he played such a prominent role that, for all his sensitivity, he understood the magnitude of the shadow.

Others eventually gave it 60 – first Roger Maris in 1961, then Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds, although the latter three were aided by stimulants, which doesn’t deconstruct their achievements as much as provide useful context. Which way to see them. Ruth’s story predates the merger. Maris is ahead of the game’s universality. Each symbol carries its own baggage.

That’s one reason why a judge excuses himself from talking numbers. He only said “60” once in his press conference following the game. He said “team” at least 10 times. It can cover itself in arguments about the real record or the correct record. He prefers to be dedicated to almost any party line.

“To get a chance to play baseball in Yankee Stadium, a packed house, a first-class team, that’s what you dream of,” Judge said. “I’m loving every second of it. Even when we’re down, you don’t like to lose, but I know the top of the lineup is coming, we’ve got a shot to come back here and do something special. I’m trying to enjoy it. Take it all in, but I know I still have a job to do on the field every day.

He seems to want to say: somehow this life, this reality doesn’t bother a judge. As much as Ruth enjoyed it, Maris hated it. In the year And as much as he wanted to accomplish himself, Maris viewed his legacy as a burden, saying, “It would have been a lot more fun if I had never hit those 61 home runs.” It was a headache.

The judge’s head is steady, clear, unwavering. Which is lucky, because he enjoys getting his numbers out of the way — hitting 61 to tie Maris for the American League record and 62 — proving there’s no accidental clean slate. In addition to owning the unbeaten lead in home runs and runs batted in, Judge’s blast in the ninth pushed his batting average to an AL-best .316. That means that with the Yankees trailing in the final 15 games of their season and now looking to lock up the AL East title with a 5½-game lead over Toronto, Judge will do so by chasing more than just Ruth and Maris. But the second triple crown in the last half century.

This is a guy who played his entire career in the Bronx. A man who turned down a seven-year contract extension on Opening Day. Aaron Judge knows the pressure of the numbers, the awards, the team performance, the upcoming free agency summer has a whole different set of numbers. On Tuesday, he allowed himself to be name-checked by his ancestors — “You talk about Ruth and Maris and Mantle and all these Yankees greats…” Judge said — but he didn’t get too far into that line of thinking.

The past is about ego. Now it’s about the team. And the New York Yankees, undeniably Aaron Judge’s team, had perhaps their best win of Tuesday. With Stanton on his way to great success, Judge can clear his mind of what might have happened if he wasn’t burdened.

He hit 60 — yes, Babe, 60 years old — he was happy and excited and tuned in to a different home run, hit by another big man. The world can have an interesting and historical solo shot. Aaron Judge takes another baseball game, the great game that beat the Yankees.

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