Lance Lynn believes there is only one way to prevent the situation that unfolded between Aaron Judge and the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week: hit him.
The former Yankees pitcher weighed in on the controversial situation of the week in MLB, where Judge was accused of cheating when it appeared he was peeking at his dugout before hitting a monster home run against the Blue Jays on Monday.
In an appearance on former Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s Foul Territory podcast on Wednesday, Lynn was asked “if you catch a guy doing that, he’s catching one in the ribs, right?”
“That’s the only way to stop it, I think,” Lynn responded. “Unfortunately, everything has changed in the game. Everyone told me ‘if you’re giving it and the first-base coach can get it, it’s on you.’ It’s like, no. Coaches and dugouts and things like that are out of it. if a guy’s on base and he sees your grip from second, that’s on you. I see that one, but when players that are not on the field or coaches that are not playing the game are involved, that’s where I think it’s too much. Everybody can do their homework, see things, all that, but if it is not your teammate and/or you in the box getting the tips, that’s where I draw the line.”
A brief explanation of how the situation unfolded, via NJ Advance Media’s Max Goodman:
It all began with Judge’s eighth-inning at-bat during Monday night’s win at Rogers Centre. The superstar slugger looked off to his right multiple times during the plate appearance, including a split second before he blasted a 462-foot homer off Blue Jays reliever Jay Jackson.
After the game, Judge and Yankees manager Aaron Boone insisted that No. 99 was peeking toward the first-base dugout in response to the incessant “chirping” from Yankees players and coaches. Both teams had been voicing their displeasure toward home plate umpire Clint Vondrak throughout the game. The suspect officiating reached a boiling point in that inning — Boone was ejected from the game for arguing a low strike to Judge during the fateful at-bat.
Blue Jays manager John Schneider doubled down on his suspicions while speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, calling Judge’s wandering eyes “odd” while questioning Judge’s explanation.
“I’m not in the business of buying postgame media,” Schneider said. “I just found it a little funny that he was worrying about his dugout while he was in the batter’s box.”
On Monday night, it was suggested that the Yankees could’ve been feeding Judge signs, tipping pitches with Jackson on the mound. Schneider added context to those allegations, pointing out that the Yankees’ base coaches weren’t standing in their designated boxes in foul territory.
“It’s easy to look at a runner at second when you’re hitting, tough to look into the dugout. Probably a little bit easier to look at a coach,” Schneider said. “I think that there’s boxes on the field for a reason. When it’s a glaring 30 feet where you’re not in that spot, you kind of put two and two together a little bit.”
The positioning of base coaches was one of the main concerns the Blue Jays relayed to Major League Baseball on Tuesday. Boone and Judge were both unaware of Chapman’s positioning raising any eyebrows. They still think this is an overblown non-story.
“I think most of the people in the know know that there’s nothing there,” Boone said. “I’m sure that will be the prevailing wisdom as it unfolds. I understand the noise around it, but I think all of us that are in the game, and you guys that cover it, understand that nothing is going on here.”