TAMPA, Fla. – For a moment on Tuesday, at the beginning of his press conference after the Yankees’ first full training in spring training, Aaron Judge seemed torn.

I was tired of hearing about the Houston Astros. He desperately wanted to focus on the 2020 season. But Judge also recognized his platform.

He is the fundamental player of the baseball glamor franchise, a charismatic slugger with an impeccable reputation. Commissioner Rob Manfred did not hold the Astros players responsible for their theft of posters, so Judge added his powerful voice to the chorus that condemned them and their 2017 title.

“I just don’t think it has any value,” Judge said. “You didn’t win it. That’s how I feel, it didn’t win. It didn’t win by playing the game correctly.”

Judge is far from being the only player to denounce the Astros. Mike Trout on Sunday He told reporters that he had “lost some respect” for some of the Houston players, and Nick Markakis of the Braves said he thought “every individual there needs a beating.”

Shortly after Judge spoke, a Yankee fan named LeBron James, winner of a handful of M.V.P. Prizes in his own sport, he published his thoughts on the scandal that consumes baseball. “Listen, I know I don’t play baseball, but I’m in sports and I know that if someone cheated on me by winning the title and I learned that I would be angry,” he said. wrote on twitter, adding a censored expletive.

But the Astros scheme may have affected Judge uniquely. Dodgers Cody Bellinger said last week that Altuve “stole an M.V.P.” de Judge, who said Tuesday that he agreed with many of Bellinger’s comments, but failed to make the same accusation.

“The most important thing is that I have to make sure the next time I don’t keep the vote so close,” Judge said. “I have to go out and win directly, so there’s no doubt.” He won it and that’s how it is. “

Altuve really defeated Judge in the vote, with 27 first-place votes from baseball writers to both Judge. (The other first-place vote went to José Ramírez of Cleveland.) More important, the judge said, the Astros hoax could have cost the Yankees a pennant. The Yankees have not been in the World Series since 2009, when Judge was in high school.

“I was quite angry, quite annoyed to know that they probably tricked us into the possibility of reaching the World Series,” he said. “To hear that you were fooled by that opportunity, it’s hard to let it pass.”

“If I have a bad game and I’m wrong, I will stand in front of the microphone and say: ‘Hey, I’m sorry, I was wrong, I did this and that, it depends on me.” Judge said. “Not really hearing that from some of the players is what bothers the baseball community. People lost jobs, people lost money, people lost many important things to them. “

The first question the judge asked on Tuesday was really about a different issue: his pain in his right shoulder, which prevented him from hitting or throwing. The judge called it “nothing alarming,” and manager Aaron Boone said an MRI exam showed nothing abnormal.

Judge began her off-season training in early November, shortly after the Yankees lost another A.L.C.S. in Houston The memory of that defeat has led Judge for months, he said.

Did the Astros also cheat in that series?

“To think they just stopped at 19,” said the judge, “it’s hard for me to say that.”

The past behavior of the Astros casts doubt on all their achievements since then, another sad consequence of the scandal. For players like Judge, who take their roles as caregivers of a social institution seriously, the stain of deception will adhere to the Astros. Shame alone is not enough punishment, but it is something.

“Wherever they go, they will listen to it, and even away from the field, it will be difficult for them,” Judge said. “That is the thing. We are all role models, whatever happens, and we have to make the right decisions because we have the children looking at us, we have other classmates looking at us, observing every movement we make. If you try to deceive the rules or try to make something bad, it will eventually come to light. It always does. The truth always comes up. “

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