Aaron Judge still has not decided if he will participate in the Home Run Derby at next month’s All-Star Game in Miami.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff to focus on with the team right now,’’ the major league leader in home runs with 26 said Sunday. “[The Derby is] the last thing on my mind.’’
Is Judge concerned about the so-called Derby Jinx, which some participants have experienced in the form of a second- half decline? “Nope,’’ he said. Is he worried about it altering his swing? “Nope,’’ he repeated.
Judge was a widely discussed topic on Old-Timers’ Day at the Stadium. Kevin Maas, who broke in with 21 home runs in 79 games in his rookie year of 1990, said he saw Judge play in college at Fresno in California.
“Like a man amongst boys,’’ said Maas, 52, a wealth management adviser in Castro Valley, California.
Maas had trouble with the off-speed pitch and finished with 65 homers in his five-year career, but he is always recalled when a new Yankee has a home run-driven start. “If my name still comes up 25, 30 years later, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned,’’ Maas said. “My experience with the Yankees was great, nothing to be ashamed about. Maybe it’s something guys can look to for an example.’’
Maas said Judge will have to learn to handle the bad times. “It would be unlikely that you could keep still going at his pace,’’ he said. “At some point he’ll struggle. He’s a good player now, he has a chance to be a great player for a long time. When he goes through those inevitable struggles, he’s got to work through them.’’
Matt Holliday was not in the lineup. Joe Girardi said he thinks the designated hitter still is experiencing symptoms from an allergic issue and might undergo testing. His status is uncertain for Monday night’s game against the White Sox in Chicago.
CC Sabathia (left hamstring) said he felt good after throwing a bullpen session. “He’s progressing very, very well,’’ Girardi said. Greg Bird (right ankle) ran and reported no discomfort.