Aaron Judge is sitting on 60 home runs; maybe you've heard about this. Everyone wants 61. Fans are booing when Judge gets walked, as he did three times Thursday night. Fans are groaning when Judge doubles, as he did twice on Wednesday. We're here for dingers! Nothing but dingers will do! Watching a pot that refuses to boil is frustrating, and with every Judge plate appearance demanding full attention, it's easy to lose oneself. But in the ninth inning of a tie game last night, I really, really, really thought he got one.
Sure, it was a nice swing, but I need to have a friendly chat with the camera operator about this. The zoom out, the pan up, and then ... disappointment. It's not right to toy with people's emotions like this. I demand that I be informed instantly whether a given fly ball is going to be No. 61 or a pointless waste of time, potentially via some advanced AI program that tells me if it's a dinger upon the crack of the bat, or possibly even earlier.
The fly-out—a can of corn, really, for all the good it did us—was both the hardest-hit and farthest-hit ball of the game, which is honestly pretty funny for a game that saw three actual home runs. “I just got underneath it a little bit,” Judge said. “A pretty windy night, so I was hoping maybe it was blowing out at the time I was hitting, but just missed it.”
I take some solace in the fact that I was not the only ones fooled. The Fox announcers thought it was out. The Fox desk thought it was out:
Two Spanish-language crews thought it was out:
And what of Yankees radio voice John Sterling, who is 84 years old and maybe doesn't see so great anymore and is notorious for launching into his home run call for balls that fall well short of the wall? Well, he was the only semi-rational voice in a sea of fools.
John Sterling saw this ball better than I did. I'm mega-owned.