TAMPA – It turns out that Aaron Judge can be a little bit closer.
On Tuesday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees racket spoke eloquently, passionately, and honestly for about 18 minutes when he first dealt with the Astros shield theft scandal. He shared his personal fear and concern for his industry. He criticized violently without hitting the belt.
And is that a wrap? Have all affected high profile people checked in now? Major League Baseball should hope so. The judge, whom the currently troubled commissioner Rob Manfred once described as "the kind of player who can become the face of the game", found the perfect balance between indignation and understanding of the imperative to continue. Maybe, just maybe, the game can use the judge's address to move away from this animal's belly, no doubt very slowly.
"It is difficult to say when all of these will continue," said Judge, who is fighting right shoulder pain. "But I think … anyone who talks about it and takes it off their chest is probably the greatest. People who talk about it, take it off, get rid of their frustration are a start. And all you can do is just go from there, I think. "
Boy, Richter's chest must have carried more weight than an 18-wheeler. With a steady tone and moderate volume, he spoke extensively of the pain he felt when the past baseball winter was happening, first with The Athletic's November story about the Astros program, and then when Manfred was his in January Report published. How Hot Stove updates faded into the background on TV to steal updates and what prompted him to delete his November 2017 Instagram post congratulating Jose Altuve for honoring him as the most valuable American League player.
"Just sick for my stomach," said Judge, describing his initial reaction to Mike Fiers' allegations that caused him to scrub his social media: "[T]They cheated to find out that it wasn't deserved – that didn't suit me well and I just didn't feel like the post I really meant. "
He expressed his disappointment at the lack of penalties for Astros players and when asked if Houston should lose his 17 title, Judge described the championship as "not deserved". Most impressive, arguably, he offered his opinion on why so many players, including themselves, remain so deeply angry.
"If I have a bad game and screw it up, I'll stand in front of the microphone and say: & # 39; Hey, I'm sorry, I screwed it up, I did this and that and it's up to me. & # 39; 39; " Richter said. "And not really hearing that some of the players, I think, bothered the baseball community, bothered a lot of people. … [To] It really doesn't seem to be a regret, a lot of people have been upset about that. "
We saw a slower trail of VIP opponents than Jamie-Moyer, who sat in front of microphones and gave their views on it. First came the managers, then the managers, then the pitchers and catchers, then the other position players. It took the judge so long because the Yankees opened the camp a day later than some other clubs and because the complex of the team here is structured so that infielder and outfielder on the minor league side train largely out of sight until the whole Squad meets.
To be clear, this saga is far from over. Players Association executive director Tony Clark has yet to speak, and next week we'll see the fruits of Manfred's investigation into Red Sox 2018. With a full game schedule for Saturday, could Judge have completed this chapter of anger with dignity and sincerity?
"Yes, I could sit up here and lie to you and say, forget it and keep going, but it will always be a bit in the back of your head," said Judge. "… But at some point we will continue, we will go forward and expand this game. That is what is important to me to expand this game."
The judge did his little part on Tuesday. Can others follow his example?