Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge ejected for first time in his career

Aaron Judge had never been ejected from a baseball game, even in little league.

But that streak ended during the seventh inning of the Yankees’ 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers in the Bronx on Saturday when home-plate umpire Ryan Blakney tossed him for voicing displeasure with a called third strike.

Blakney rang up Judge on a borderline 3-2 pitch from Detroit reliever Tyler Horton, eliciting a few words from the Yankees captain as he walked toward the dugout.

“It’s the heat of the moment,” Judge said afterward. “A 3-2 count. I think it’s a ball. I disagree with the call. You know, say what you want but get back to the dugout and get the game moving along. To be facing the dugout, walking away, and then get tossed, I didn’t even see myself get tossed. I think it was a crowd reaction that I heard, so I kind of assumed at that point.”

Judge did not disclose what he said to Blakney. Blakney, meanwhile, did not speak after the game. Crew chief Alan Porter told a pool reporter he had not been told exactly what Judge said.

“There are things that they cannot say no matter what’s going on,” Porter said. “Things that you can’t say and he apparently did.”

A loud chant of “Ump, you suck,” broke out within the crowd of 45,017 shortly after Judge left the game.

The ejection came during the 870th game of Judge’s nine-year MLB career, marking the first time a Yankees captain had been tossed since Don Mattingly in 1994. Derek Jeter was never ejected during his 20-season MLB career, including during his captainship from 2003-14.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ryan and what he does,” Judge said. “I know their job’s tough. I’ve always had their back because it’s tough back there. For that to happen that way, I think that’s what I’m most upset about.”

The 6-7 Judge has often been the victim of low strike calls, but Saturday’s pitch was a question of whether the ball caught the outside edge of the plate.

The ejection surprised Judge’s teammates and his manager, Aaron Boone, who felt the slugger’s actions didn’t warrant a removal from the game.

“Judgey says very little usually,” Boone said. “Very respectfully, walking away. C’mon man.”

Anthony Rizzo shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s Aaron Judge,” the first baseman said. “He has a very good reputation. He was obviously disappointed with the call. I don’t think he was showing up the umpire. I thought it was pretty quick.”

Saturday’s situation unfolded less than two weeks after Boone was ejected two batters into a loss to the A’s when home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt appeared to mistakenly attribute a comment from a fan to the Yankees’ manager.

On Saturday, Judge said there was no rub between him and Blakney before the ejection.

“I’ve never tried to show them up,” Judge said, “but I guess in this case I did.”

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