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Yankees' Aaron Judge Says He Called Players-Only Meeting to Address Issues Amid Slump

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 3, 2021

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The New York Yankees have gone 1-5 in their last six games amid a season where not much has gone right for the 41-39 Bronx Bombers, who are mired in fourth place in the American League East and sit 5.5 games back of the second wild card.

Star right fielder Aaron Judge is taking on a leadership role to hopefully fix the team's woes, however, telling reporters Friday that he called a players-only meeting three days prior.

"Just [had] some things on my mind, some things I've been seeing over the course of the year," Judge said, per ESPN's Marly Rivera.

"Usually around the All-Star break is the time where you have a meeting and guys kind of address things going into the second half. But I felt like there's some things that couldn't wait until the All-Star break to get brought up."

Judge has been the team's best and most valuable offensive player, hitting .285 (.904 OPS) with 18 home runs and 42 RBI. The rest of the offense has largely struggled, sitting 13th among 15 AL teams in runs scored and eighth in OPS.

He's probably as good a voice as any right now to step up and be this team's de-facto leader. While Judge didn't offer specifics on what was said, he continued to provide a glimpse into the meeting room.

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"It was a good time for a lot of us to be honest with each other," Judge added.

"Maybe [say] some things on our mind. ... All the best teams I've been on, you're able to say what you need to say to somebody and not let somebody's feelings get hurt. It was a good meeting. There was a lot of emotion, but I think overall it was great for the team."

The Yankees fell 5-3 to the Angels the night before the players-only meeting. New York responded Tuesday with an 11-5 win but arguably suffered their worst regular-season loss the next night when the Angels scored seventh in the ninth to overcome an 8-4 deficit en route to an 11-8 win.

The Yankees' next two games were postponed due to weather. They're set to host the New York Mets on Saturday.

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