Jay Jackson says he tipped the scales against Aaron Judge

ESPN News ServicesMay 17, 2023, 12:51 p.m. ET4 minute read

Aaron Judge explains dugout peek during batting HR

Aaron Judge explains why he kept peeking into the Yankees dugout before hitting a 462-foot home run against the Blue Jays.

Blue Jays pitcher Jay Jackson said he tipped his pitches against Yankees star Aaron Judge, who came under scrutiny for a sideways glance before his hit gigantic home run against the Toronto right-hander.

Television cameras showed Judge looking quickly toward the Yankees dugout at first base before his 462-foot homer in the eighth inning Monday against Jackson.

Blue Jays broadcasters speculated that Judge was looking for some kind of signal, and Toronto manager John Schneider called the slugger’s look “rather strange”, but Jackson offered a simple explanation during a interview with The Athletic.

“From what I was told, I was kind of rocking the pitch,” Jackson told The Athletic as part of a report on Wednesday. “It was (less) my grip when I came behind my ear. It was the moment when it took me out of my fixed position, my glove coming from my head to my hip. On fastballs, I was doing it a little faster than on the sliders. They were kind of figuring it out.”

It was the second homer of the night for the judge, who said after the game that he was trying to identify “who was chirping from our dugout” to home plate umpire Clint Vondrak.

The Blue Jays, however, didn’t buy Judge’s explanation, and Schneider mentioned that the reigning American League MVP could have been receiving signals from Yankees first base coach Travis Chapman.

“If they knew it was coming and he cut me, he cut me,” Jackson told The Athletic. “I’m glad he succeeded as much as he did.”

Judge’s homer came on a 3-2 slider from Jackson — the sixth straight slider he’s thrown at bat. Jackson, who was demoted to the minors ahead of Tuesday’s game, said several Blue Jays members informed him he was tipping the scales.

“One of the guys told me maybe I tipped my shots,” he told The Athletic. “Then the guy in the video came back later and said, ‘Hey, we might have noticed something about the difference between your slider and your fastball. to change it next time.'”

The Yankees have not been charged with using electronic equipment to decipher Blue Jays signs, which is against Major League Baseball rules.

“If you do things in plain sight, I think you have to be able to fix them and you have to be prepared for the consequences to be what they are,” Schneider told reporters, according to The Athletic. . “If it’s done fairly – it’s part of the game. Everyone’s looking to help their teammates, everyone’s looking to pick up on trends, so everything that happens on the pitch the right way – a game totally fair.”

The Blue Jays brought up the subject of Chapman and third base coach Luis Rojas’ position again during Tuesday’s game, leading to a brief shoutout game involving Schneider, Rojas, Yankees manager Aaron Boone and the Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker.

Deciphering an opponent’s signals without electronic equipment and passing them to a batter is not against MLB rules, and Boone said he found the arguments over coach positioning “tired.”

“It’s just stupidity,” Boone said. “It’s ridiculous and I think everyone – I hope on both sides – realizes that.”

The judge’s response to the situation was another monstrous home run — a two-run outburst that broke an eighth-inning tie and propelled the Yankees to a 6-3 win on Tuesday. The 448-foot drive to center field shattered part of a white maple leaf backboard – the national symbol of Canada and the logo of Canadian airline West Jet, sponsor of the center field bar area.

The Yankees and Blue Jays conclude their three-game series Wednesday night in Toronto.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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