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Report: Yankees Threatened to Pull Aaron Judge If Red Sox Game Resumed After Delay

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 27, 2022

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 26  - New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) takes batting practice as the Toronto Blue Jays play the New York Yankees  at Rogers Centre in Toronto. September 26, 2022.        (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge was at the center of a game of tug of war between Yankees manager Aaron Boone and ESPN, according to NJ Advance Media's Brendan Kuty.

The Bronx Bombers were awarded a 2-0 six-inning win over the Boston Red Sox following a lengthy rain delay Sunday.

Kuty reported ESPN "pressured MLB officials to wait out an already long and particularly nasty rain delay" so it could potentially broadcast Judge's 61st home run. However, the Red Sox and Yankees were both making the case to call the contest based on the weather forecasts.

Likewise, Boone expressed concerns for the health of his players if they were to return to a wet Yankee Stadium surface.

"Boone made it known that he was considering all options to keep his players safe—and that included the very real possibility of pulling Judge out of the game despite the fact he was due up to hit as soon as the delay ended, the first person said," per Kuty.

Judge's pursuit of the American League home run record is one of the biggest stories in baseball. The veteran slugger has been stuck on 60 homers since Sept. 20 and has 10 more games to match or eclipse Roger Maris' single-season mark from 1961.

Naturally, MLB and its media partners want to make sure as many fans as possible can see Judge. ESPN even went so far as to use a split screen to air his at-bats live last Saturday.

Under the circumstances, pushing to have the Yankees and Red Sox resume their encounter might have been counterproductive, though.

Kuty noted how there was some belief the action could restart around 12:30 a.m. ET. A lot of people in attendance will have already left Yankee Stadium by that point, and even more television viewers will have gone to bed.

Even if ESPN had gotten its wish, Boone held the ultimate trump card, and he apparently wasn't afraid to use it.

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