Judge bristles at cheater talk after taking sideways glance before big home run

TORONTO (AP) — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge doesn’t appreciate being branded a potential cheater after he took a sideways peek before hitting a 462-foot home run in Toronto.

“I’ve got some choice words about that, but I’m just going to keep that off the record,” Judge said before Tuesday night’s game.

Across the diamond, Blue Jays manager John Schneider said his team spoke to Major League Baseball about the positioning of New York’s base coaches.

“There’s boxes on the field for a reason,’ Schneider said.

The commissioner’s office said it was aware of Monday’s situation and would be paying attention to it, Toronto’s second-year manager said.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said his team also had been in touch with MLB.

“Our understanding is that there will not be any kind of investigation because nothing that went last night was against the rules,” Boone said.

Houston was penalized for using prohibited electronics to steal signs en route to the 2017 World Series title. There is no rule prohibiting players and coaches from studying opponents with eyes in search of a sign flashed too openly, or for individual tendencies and tells.

Judge said he was upset at the suggestion he was benefitting from sign stealing after the Toronto television broadcast picked up his sideways glance during his eighth inning at-bat against right-hander Jay Jackson.

“I’m not happy about it, but people can say what they want,” Judge said. “I’ve still got a game to play, I’ve got things I’ve got to do. I told you guys what happened and everybody else can make their own story about it if they want.”

Schneider said it’s up to his players to make sure they don’t inadvertently give away pitch locations or signs.

“What’s fair is fair, I think, and if our guys are giving stuff away, we have to be better at that,” Schneider said. “If things are being picked up from people that aren’t in the place they should be, that’s where I think the line should be drawn.”

Schneider was then asked whether he was specifically concerned about where the opposing base coaches stood.

“Every team kind of has their guard up on that,” Schneider said. “It’s easy to look at a runner at second when you’re hitting, tough to look into the dugout. Probably a little bit easier to look at a coach. There’s boxes on the field for a reason. When it’s a glaring 30 feet where you’re not in that spot, you kind of put two and two together a little bit.”

After Monday’s game, Judge said he looked into his dugout to see which of his teammates was disrupting his at-bat by yelling at plate umpire Clint Vondrak. Vondrak had just ejected Boone for arguing a low strike call to Judge.

Schneider said he didn’t think much of Judge’s explanation.

“I’m not in the business of buying post-game media,” Schneider said. “It’s a really accomplished hitter who won the MVP last year. I know that he means nothing but business and wants to win. I just found it a little funny that he was worried about his dugout while he was in the batter’s box.”


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