TAMPA — Turns out Aaron Judge can be one heck of a closer, too.
For about 18 minutes Tuesday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees slugger, addressing the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal for the first time, spoke eloquently, passionately, honestly. He shared his personal anguish as well as concern for his industry. He criticized heavily without hitting below the belt.
And is that a wrap? Have all of the impacted high-profile people checked in now? Major League Baseball sure should hope so. Judge, whom the currently beleaguered commissioner Rob Manfred once hailed as “the kind of player that can become the face of the game,” struck the perfect balance of indignation and the understanding of the imperative to go forward. Maybe, just maybe, the game can use Judge’s address to pivot away — very slowly, no doubt — from the belly of this beast.
“It’s tough to say when everyone’s going to move on from this,” said Judge, who by the way is battling right shoulder soreness. “But I think … everyone talking about it and getting it off their chests is probably the biggest thing. Guys talking about it, getting it off, getting their frustration…