From the crack of the racket to the roar of the crowd, it looked as if the Judge’s towering blast off Matt Barnes would have knocked out the Red Sox in a 4-4 match. Instead, the 2-2 blast fell into Kiké Hernandez’s gauntlet for the second time of the inning. This was after a game of frustration for the Yankees, with Judge walking three of his first four racquets, a carryover from Wednesday when he walked four pitches by Pirates.
Although the Yankees won 5-4 in additional innings with a Josh Donaldson song, Judge’s near miss sucked the air off the field.
For home viewers, neither Adam Amin’s emphatic invitation to nearby Homer, nor Fox’s photographer to the scoreboard, which featured the judge’s smile about what could have been a date, helped them. He’s looking for Homer Number 61, after all. He was looking to hook Roger Maris with 61 home games for one season with the Maris family on hand. It’s a great moment.
MORE: Everything you need to know about Aaron Judge’s pursuit of Roger Maris
The camera operator made everyone in the house think Aaron Judge hit number 61 😅pic.twitter.com/oiRBs3KvrB
Yankees videos (@snyyankees) September 23, 2022
This is where you realize how difficult it is to cover the chase of these broadcast teams. Amin doesn’t want to be the one to spoil the call on 61, and as a national broadcaster, Fox wants to treat the moment with the luxury it deserves.
Meanwhile, John Sterling knows Yankee Stadium more than anyone else. He’s been more conservative on his radio call, so listeners will likely be more conservative in their early celebration than those who watch.
John Sterling, you are much better than me. I would simply lose my mind. pic.twitter.com/nN5ZY2LjBj
JackLido September 23, 2022
Again, it’s hard to blame Fox, especially when Homer was so close. With a 35-degree launch angle, exit speed of 113 mph and projected distance of 404 feet, “Would It Dong” hit 13 of 30 golf courses.
MORE: Tracking Aaron Judge .’s Triple Crown Show
Aaron Judge vs Matt Barnes#RepBX
Outlet exit: 113 mph
Launch angle: 35 degrees
project. Distance: 404 feet
This could have been a home run at 13/30 MLB ballparks
Boss (4) @ NYY (4)
🔻 ninth pic.twitter.com/ZbzEJhFLmJ
– Is this a dong? (would_it_dong) September 23, 2022
For anyone wondering why people starve volleyball from the judge’s racket, this should be evident in the course of history. But here’s a look at the pitches the judge watched all night.Anything that hits in the air will have that reaction, especially with Michael Wacha beating the judge on the inside throughout the match.
The judge will have more chances to make history against the Red Sox – three more this weekend, to be exact – and they will all be broadcast nationally. If Judge succeeds, we’ll see if Apple TV+, MLB Network, and ESPN learn from Fox’s overzealous enthusiasm.