Aaron Judge continues to win over hearts and minds.
On Wednesday, Judge was captured by YES Network cameras having a field day with his dog, Gus.
“Aaron Judge and Gus,” YES broadcaster Michael Kay gushed. “How about Gus, huh?”
Kay laughed aloud when the YES TV crew put a chyron graphic on the screen announcing the pup as “Gus Judge.”
Color commentator Paul O’Neill also chuckled, saying, “That’s as relaxed as I’ve seen Aaron Judge on a field, right? Wow! Some dogs are just luckier than others.”
Kay marveled, “That’s just all-time cute right?” as Gus Judge scampered across the outfield with the Yankee slugger tossing him a ball to fetch.
Anthony Rizzo’s dog, Kevin, formed a friendship with Judge’s dachshund, Penny, and Rizzo used this relationship in recruiting Judge to re-sign with the Yankees this past offseason.
“I did send him a couple of pictures of our dogs together — because we both have dachshunds — saying, ‘We can’t break them up!’” Rizzo said on “The Book of Joe” podcast in December.
Jimmy Fallon brought this up with Judge on the “Tonight Show”.
“It always comes down to your pet, right?” Fallon asked Judge.
“He went for my heart,” Judge said about the tactics of his teammate.
Coming off a season in which he slugged 62 home runs, besting the American League record set by former Yankee Roger Maris in 1961, Judge ultimately re-signed with the Yankees on a nine-year deal worth a total of $360 million.
“I don’t know if it’ll change [his day to day] that much,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters after Judge inked the blockbuster deal.
Aaron Judge and his puppy Gus.YES Network
Aaron and Gus Judge running in the Yankee Stadium outfield.YES Network
“I do think it’s been ratcheted up a little bit, coupled with the fact that he’s here now. Nine-year deal, he knows without a doubt, this is now his home and in a lot of ways, his team. I don’t think you’ll see that big of a change in the person and who he is and how he goes about things. But, I do think there’s that incremental step, probably, in leadership that he assumes a responsibility.”
This season, Judge is batting .288 with 14 home runs and a 1.032 OPS.