Aaron Judge is the greatest thing in baseball and is having one of the historic seasons in the game’s history.
But does he have enough power to save MLB from streaming?
We’re about to find out, because with Judge at 59 homers, he’s watching an exclusive Friday and Apple TV+ stream of the Yankees-Red Sox game with potentially historic implications.
If that happens, the stand of Stephen Nelson, Hunter Pence and Katie Nolan will have a chance to put their signature on the moment.
While Apple TV+ games are free, there’s a – presumably older – segment of the public that cares a lot to see Roger Maris’ record being tied or broken and probably still has a bit of trouble accessing it.
An MLB spokesperson said there were no plans to change the broadcast schedule.
The rest of the week lines up better with YES having the games against the Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fox will have the Yankees nationally on Thursday, followed by Apple on Friday. YES and MLB Network will have Saturday. ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” has the honors of ending the week.
Sterling to cross the border
John Sterling will now do all Yankees games on WFAN from here until the end of the playoffs. Sterling, 84, had reduced his travel schedule in the second half of the season and YES/ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco had agreed to play the games next week in Toronto.
Late last month, Ruocco proactively reached out to WFAN chief Chris Oliviero to see if he was still making those games with Judge approaching Maris’ record 61 homers, Oliviero said. With Sterling having an aversion to crossing the border, Oliviero said Ruocco was ready to go.
All about Aaron Judge and his pursuit of the home run record:
Last week, Sterling called Oliviero wanting to do the Toronto series which starts on Monday. Ruocco understood and stepped aside. In a classy (and right) move, Oliviero will still pay Ruocco for all three games.
Judge TV means big numbers
Judge can bring this small data point into his free agency negotiations. YES’s ratings have increased by 22% this season in terms of total average viewership (350,000 vs. 286,000). Of the 113 games on YES so far this season, 35 games have averaged over 400,000 viewers. Those are the best numbers in baseball and the highest for YES in 11 years. You can’t attribute everything to Judge. The Yankees started the season playing baseball’s best, but it became a fixture on TV.
He’s only going to get bigger, as everything he does in the coming weeks and the playoffs, combined with what will potentially be a landmark contract, will make his appearances even bigger in the years to come.
Judge television, etc.
For its Thursday game, Fox Sports made a switcheroo, replacing its No. 2 MLB player Adam Amin for Aaron Goldsmith. Amin will join John Smoltz on the call with Ken Rosenthal on the sidelines. … The other problem with Apple TV games on Friday nights as opposed to other outlets is that it’s difficult for bars and restaurants to show games. … MLB Network will broadcast live looks whenever Judge bats. In Saturday’s game, Bob Costas and Tom Verducci will be in the stand with Jon Morosi on the sidelines.
New York Post