The new face of baseball is still a marketing machine as he prepares to return from injury.
The Yankees have been hurting without big boppers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez lacing the lineup. The two preseason MVP candidates have been inactive since late July and although Sanchez is close to a return, Judge admits he is still in pain from the chip fracture in his right wrist and he won’t be able to take any hacks with the lumber until it is gone.
In the meantime, the money machine doesn’t stop for Judge, who is still riding the colossal come up of his legendary rookie season. Judge has been anointed one of the faces of baseballs future and he’s receiving all of the accolades that come with being The Man in The Big Apple.
Yankees slugger @TheJudge44 speaks with media and @Oakley reps as he announces his partnership with the eye wear company at their fifth avenue store location #oakley5thavenue
Since his rookie season, Judge has picked up endorsements with Pepsi, Adidas and JBL, just to name a few of the major players. On Friday, Judge met with an exclusive group of media and no more than 20 or so lucky fans at the Oakley eyewear store on fifth avenue in Manhattan to announce his partnership agreement with the company to sell his new signature shades.
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge adds Oakley to his growing roster of endorsements.
Its the latest endorsement for Judge — who despite what Mike Trout and Bryce Harper fans say — is gaining ground as the most recognizable player in the game. And he hasnt even played two full seasons yet.
While the media in attendance and most fashionable folks could all use a pair of Oakley eyewear (former Yankees pitching great David Wells was spotted shopping in the spot) the questions for Judge surrounded his injury and how soon he will be back to save a struggling Yankees squad that has fallen to nine games behind the BoSox with 45 games left to play.
“It feels alright and could be better, but I’m still right on track,” Judge told reporters. “Hopefully Ill be able to swing a bat in the next couple of days or next week sometime. I don’t know the timetable on that yet,”
Instead of elaborating on the injury, Judge chose to praise the array of young talent that has been keeping the Yankees ahead of Oakland in the Wild Card race.
“When I’m healthy I hope my job is still there, so I can slide back into this lineup,” Judge jokingly said.
“Its been fun to kind of sit back…Well, it hasn’t been fun, but just getting a chance to watch this team…The young guys, (Miguel) Andujar and (Gleyber) Torres have been fun to watch. Not many teams have one good rookie and we have two — at third base and second base. It’s amazing, the type of talent we got.”
Gleyber Torres and Ronald Acua are having, respectively, the 3rd and t5th best hitting seasons by rookies born in Venezuela, per OPS+ https://t.co/aw9zPHSm6N
Despite the unexpected success of the two rookies, the Yankees are hurting, having lost their first 5 games in August, including a humiliating sweep at the hands of Boston. Overall, they are 4-6 this month after Friday night’s 12-7 loss.
Shane Robinson has been subbing in right field and Austin Romine behind the plate. Romines has been exposed as an everyday player and hes in a 13-for-57 slide with 14 strikeouts in his past 16 games. Robinson isnt doing much better. He’s 1-for-19 with no extra-base hits in his past eight games.
The slide has New York fans and media thinking Wild Card. Judge was even asked whether or not the Yankees have conceded the division.
August just started, Judge said, as the always amicable giant almost seemed a bit annoyed by the audacity of the question. We still have September and a lot of stranger things have happened. Our goal has always been to win the division…We just have to keep going.
Aaron Judge and my colleague ABC’s Ryan Field calling it a day after Judge spoke with exclusive media members at the announcement of his partnership with Oakley eyewear at fifth avenue store in Manhattan
Judge may be a few weeks from the field, but he’s still all in on growing his brand.