In the third inning Tuesday, the Blue Jays dugout and Yankees third base coach Luis Rojas exchanged words, seemingly because the Blue Jays did not like that Rojas was positioned outside the coach's box. All of this stems back to Toronto's complaint with Judge, who they claimed was sneaking a look at New York's base coaches, allegedly improperly positioned Monday.
"It's easy to look at a runner at second when you're hitting. It's tough to look into the dugout. It's probably a little bit easier to look at a coach," Blue Jays manager John Schneider told MLB.com on Tuesday before the game. "I think that there's boxes on the field for a reason. I think when it's a glaring 30 feet where you're not in that spot, you kind of put two and two together a little bit."
Here is Tuesday's exchange between Rojas and the Blue Jays dugout:
"(Pitching coach Pete Walker) was probably -- more playfully than anything -- saying, 'I'm watching you,'" Schneider said after the game. "They probably all heard that. Rojas kind of took exception to it. It's two competitive teams. You're not pleased with the way everything has shaken out the last 24 hours, right? And I think it's just people being competitive. I think Rojas responded how he did and we responded how we did."
The spat continued in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Yankees manager Aaron Boone chirped and motioned toward Blue Jays third base coach Luis Rivera to get in the coach's box. Crew chief James Hoye spoke to both managers after the inning and told them he'll handle the base coaches and their positioning.
"It's tired. I hope not," Boone said after the game when asked whether the coach's box shenanigans will continue. "It's just silliness. It's silliness. It's ridiculous. I think everyone -- I hope on both sides -- realizes this."
For what it's worth, almost no first or third base coach actually stays in the coach's box. They all move around throughout the game to get the best possible vantage point. The umpires have the discretion to warn coaches who are improperly positioned and MLB could level punishment, if deemed warranted.
Because the base coach silliness wasn't enough, Judge provided Tuesday's decisive blown with a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning (NY 6, TOR 3). He was booed heavily throughout the game -- the Blue Jays faithful even chanted "cheater!" at one point -- but the reigning AL MVP responded with a 448-foot blast to dead center field.
"I've got some choice words about that, but it's better just to keep that off the record," Judge told MLB.com when asked the questions regarding his glance Monday night. "... Especially with the things that have happened in this game with cheating and stuff, to get that thrown out, I'm not happy about it."
Judge is 9 for 30 (.300) with five home runs in eight games since returning from the injured list last week. He's gone deep three times in the first two games of this four-game series at Rogers Centre and is hitting .270/.370/.590 in the early going this season. That is a step down from Judge's 2022 output but obviously very good overall.
Tuesday's win was New York's seventh in their last nine games. They are 25-19 on the season, but in fourth place in the AL East. The Blue Jays are percentage points ahead of them at 24-18.