Count Aaron Judge among those who don’t agree with Rob Manfred that the Houston Astros have suffered enough for their sins.
The New York Yankees slugger who was on the losing end of the 2017 ALCS, and finished second to Jose Altuve in the MVP race that same year, had a blunt assessment of the sign-stealing scandal engulfing the Astros on Tuesday.
They should be stripped of their 2017 World Series championship.
‘You didn’t earn it’
Aaron Judge says the Astros should be stripped of their 2017 World Series title:— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) February 18, 2020
"It doesn't hold any value, it wasn't earned" pic.twitter.com/adbZDYEPlq
“I just don’t think it holds any value,” Judge told reporters at a spring training news conference. “You cheated. You didn’t earn it. That’s how I feel is that it wasn’t earned playing the game right and fighting to the end. ...
“To know that another team had an advantage — nothing you can really guard against — I just don’t feel like that’s earned.”
Judge stands out amid chorus of criticism
Judge’s criticism echoes that of Mike Trout (and others), who weighed in on Monday that Astros players “cheated” and shouldn’t have escaped punishment. Coming from the best player in the game, Trout’s words carried significant weight.
Judge’s words might hold even more heft. He and his team have been directly impacted. Would he own the 2017 AL MVP trophy if the sign-stealing scheme wasn’t in play? Would his Yankees have advanced to the World Series that year? Or in 2019?
Nobody knows. But Judge and the Yankees will never have a chance to claim the hardware they lost to a team caught cheating.
He also sympathized with players whose careers were jeopardized by the unfair Astros advantage.
“People lost jobs,” Judge said. “People lost money.”
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