A Serious Blog About Aaron Judge Not Cheating
I pontificated earlier that we should double check Aaron Judge just in case he was cheating. I wrote that here if you care to get the lead-in. My personal and professional opinion is that it doesn't matter.
It's mostly in jest. He very likely is not cheating in the least. It would be a terrible system to have a guy stealing signs in the peripherals. It would be a terrible idea and timing for his legacy. It would just be stupid beyond stupid and we know he's not that stupid.
I probably should have offered the serious aspect first go around but I didn't. So let's be accountable today and offer some actual insight.
The above clip one more time:
You see he's peaking nearly at the last second. He's looking right. Towards 1st base coach? Dugout?
He's also not checking the RF because that happens before the pitcher begins his motion. They don't shade players pitch to pitch. Maybe in CF you get a small benefit if you can track signs. But the RF is largely making his adjustments from his scouting report when Judge comes into the box, and if there's anything on a pitch-by-pitch basis, it's very small and no way Judge is picking that up from the batter's box.
My hunch is that teams have extended their pre-pitch routine to the 1st baseman. My hunch is that Judge is looking for a last second break or step or movement from the corner infielder that can dictate offspeed or not. There has to be some connectivity between the 1st baseman's actions and Judge's ability to decipher fastball or offspeed. Or maybe inside or outside, but that's pretty fuckin hard to pick up on instinct. I think fastball/breaking ball is probably the safest assumption.
Infielders take a step or small movement forward as the pitch is delivered. It helps the body build anticipation. So if the 1st baseman's action is taking him towards the foul line more than normal, maybe it's offspeed away. This is where my analysis starts to falter because I didn't hit 62 home runs last year and I'm not the best player in the universe.
I just know Aaron Judge is for sure not cheating but rather *probably* reading the 1st baseman for some small tell that allows him to smash the baseball into outer space.
That's just a hunch. It comes from a very serious place and I would like to learn more about it. If you've used the 1st baseman before to get a read on MLB pitching, shoot me a DM.
The alternative theory is equally valid, and that's sincerely him expanding his peripherals before a pitch. Like scanning to the right before the pitch is delivered probably expands his field of vision for the ensuing half-a-second when the ball is being delivered. That would be in line with how advanced the brain studying has come in sports and it's simple enough to believe.
Whatever the actual reason, my point is there's about 50 valid reasons before we go to sign stealing. My apologies for not making that more clear when initially suggesting.
Finally and on topic of home runs, we have this bet on MWF with the Barstool Baseball schedule where we pick 3 teams to hit a HR. They range from +130 to +200 and it's called Bombs Away. We hit another one last night and will be back tomorrow with more action. It's fuckin ripe.