Aaron Judge rails against MLB potentially using neutral sites in postseason
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took a moment while discussing his impending return to the lineup this week to rail against MLB reportedly considering the use of neutral sites for postseason games.
Major League Baseball is believed to be contemplating whether to utilize a bubble format for the postseason — similar to the ones being successfully employed by the NBA and NHL — in light of a handful of clubhouse-wide COVID-19 outbreaks that have plagued the league since its restart.
Judge bristled at the notion of playoff games being held in such a manner, arguing it robs teams of the chance to secure home-field advantage.
“I am not a fan of it to be honest. This whole process takes away the point of winning. That is why we bust our butt all season to get home-field advantage and play in our home park,’’ Judge said, per the New York Post. “I am hoping we can figure out a way not to do the bubbles in different regions and go back to what we have been doing all year.’’
As far as the play on the field is concerned, Judge is expected to finally return to the New York Yankees’ lineup when the team returns to action Tuesday night after landing on the IL earlier this month due to a lingering right calf issue.
The slugger last appeared in a game on Aug. 11 but was on an absolute tear at the plate before getting sidelined. In 62 at-bats across 17 games, Judge was slashing at a blistering .290/.343/.758 clip with nine homers and 20 RBI. Judge of course was frustrated by the setback, and not being able to step in and help an injury-depleted lineup only made matters worse.
Judge was eligible to come off the IL on Sunday, but with the Yankees’ weekend series with the New York Mets postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Mets’ clubhouse, his return will come Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves. Suffice to say, Judge is eager to step back into the batter’s box and hopefully pick up where he left off.
“I am ready to go. Coming off the injury I know they are going to slow play it a little bit, maybe DH one of those days,’’ Judge said. “I already talked to [Aaron Boone] and told him, ‘I am ready whenever you need me.’ I am hoping to be in right field every single game.’’