The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
At Yankee Stadium They're Chanting "Here Comes the Judge"

The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge has been stirring up a lot of interest in the Bronx with his home-run-hitting prowess and his role in the team’s resurgence to division leadership in the American League East.  So far, he’s slammed 14 home runs, some of them mammoth shots.

When the 6-foot-7, 280-pound Judge lumbers to the plate, Yankee Stadium fans can be heard chanting, “Here comes the judge,” as a take-off of a comical song recorded in 1968 by Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham, one of the first rappers in the music industry.  The song was actually a parody of the justice system, but there is nothing to be made fun of regarding the performance of the Yankee slugger.

Judge is one of the relatively new Baby Bombers that have arrived in Yankee Stadium over the past few seasons.  These kids are making baseball fans recall Yankee history when the team was referred to as the “Bronx Bombers” for their prodigious power-hitting that yielded numerous World Series titles.  In reality, it’s way too early for this current version of the Yankees to be compared to the teams that had Ruth, Gehrig, Meusel, Combs, Dickey, Koenig, and Lazzeri.  But it’s been exciting for Yankee fans to envision the possibilities of a return to prominence.

Judge is joined by the Yankees’ rookie sensation of last season, catcher Gary Sanchez, and young first baseman Greg Bird, who is currently on the disabled list.  Tyler Austin is another up-and-coming Yankee stud, although he has recently had a difficult time finding a regular outfield spot, since veterans Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury are healthy and playing quite well at the moment.

Monstrous home runs have become Judge’s trademark.  He hit a 460-foot home run at Yankee Stadium in April.  During a recent batting practice session, he shattered a TV monitor in dead centerfield, estimated to be 480 feet away.  He became the youngest player in history to hit 13 home runs in his first 26 games of the season.  Judge was selected the American League’s Rookie of the Month for April.

Last year Judge showed a sampling of his power during his late-season call-up, but his strikeout rate (40%) was a concern.  This year he appears to have somewhat addressed the strikeout problem, since his whiffs have dropped to 25% of his plate appearances.

Judge wears uniform number 99, another symbol of his large presence on the roster.  Yankee tradition used to be that Yankee players with single-digit numbers were among the most revered in the team’s history, e. g., Martin—1, Jeter—2, Ruth—3, Gehrig—4, DiMaggio—5, Mantle—7, Berra—8, and Maris—9.  Judge just may be starting a new Yankee trend that the higher uniform numbers will now carry significance.

Judge’s physical size is reminiscent of outsized players from yesteryear, such as Frank Howard (6-foot-7, 255 pounds) and Dave Kingman (6-foot-6, 210 pounds), who were also well-known for their moon shots.  Howard amassed 382 career home runs, while “Kong” Kingman put up 442.  Judge would do well to wind up in their company at the end of his career.

Largely due to Judge’s performance, viewership of Yankee telecasts on the YES Network in New York is the highest since Derek Jeter’s last game as a Yankee in 2014.  In addition to following the resurgence of a winning Yankee team, fans are tuning in to see the next big home run by Judge.  Judge Judy is no longer the most popular judge on TV in New York City.

2 comments | Add a New Comment
1. Bill Catalanello | May 22, 2017 at 08:19 AM EDT

Richard,

You can use this:

\Judge rules...in favor of the Yankees.\

BC

2. Richard | May 28, 2017 at 08:47 PM EDT

Love it! Thanks.

Add a New Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)