The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 7-4 on Monday night in Toronto, and reigning MVP Aaron Judge was one of the big stars with a two-homer game. However, there was a social media frenzy surrounding Judge’s second homer. At first, there was a gargantuan explosion at 462 feet. All the glory here. Let’s clean it.
But that wasn’t what ignited the Twitterverse.
Not long after Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing and hitting balls (specifically standing up to the umpire after a low strike was incorrectly called), a Toronto broadcaster caught the umpire looking out of the side of his eyes before stepping up to the plate. He wondered aloud what he could be seeing.
This always led to speculation about the Yankees and Judge doing something unexpected. It is not illegal to look back at the holder. He is widely considered to be a jungler. Anyway, Judge doesn’t seem to look back at his catch. Not without turning his head further. It’s definitely illegal, or at least not even bush league, to look at your own holes while hitting. Some say the Yankees had some sign stealing or something, and the umpire was looking in the dugout to see them pass the infield.
The big problem with this line of thinking is that the Blue Jays use Pitchcom. Yes, technology that allows the pitcher and hitter to transmit signals without using the catcher’s fingers, along with the nod or shake of the pitcher.
Anyway, here’s a quick, on-air chat, a good ref’s eyes and then the ref drops the gavel.
After the game, the referee was asked about it. It took him a second to understand what the reporters were asking (Look here.). Then he said, “There was a lot of yelling from our dugout, which I didn’t like when it was a 6-0 game and I knew Bunnie was thrown. I was trying to save Bunnie by calling. I was like, ‘Hey, lemme work here.’ I was trying to see who was yelling in the dugout. It’s 6-0. It’s like, ‘Brown’s out, now let’s go to work.’
The referee went on to say that he liked Boone standing up for him, but once it was over, he wanted his teammates to move on from the argument, revealing that he had said something to some players in the dugout. As a reminder, Judge was named the Yankees captain last season, the first since Derek Jeter.
Blue Jays pitcher Jay Jackson, who gave up that home run, had the following to say: By Rob Longley: “I don’t want to say anything against any organization… But it wasn’t just for him to peek for that long, to go back to the pot and fix it.”
Again, though, the Blue Jays were using Pitchcom. The trick was nothing illegal unless the Yankees somehow hacked the system and had their hitters look into the dugout for information between at-bats.