Aaron Judge took a deep breath on Tuesday before answering the question of whether or not the Houston Astros should be stripped of their 2017 World Series title. That gesture alone made it obvious that not only is the topic a tough one for him to talk about, but that he was about to launch into a savage answer after gathering himself, which he certainly did.
Yes, Judge deviated from the PR path a bit, like so many of his fellow big leaguers before him, going as far as to claim that Houston's lone World Series title wasn't earned, and that it holds no value because of how the team obtained it.
Judge saw multiple things taken away from him as a result of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. Not only were his New York Yankees beaten by the cheating 'Stros in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS, but Judge lost out on the American League MVP to Houston's Jose Altuve, whose numbers may have been aided by the wide-ranging scheme.
The entire MLB has been making the Astros feel their wrath in recent days. Judge was one of the first to respond, deleting his Instagram post congratulating Jose Altuve on his 2017 MVP win the day the punishments were initially given. They have also reaped harsh reactions from Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Mike Trout, and an especially violent takedown from Nick Markakis on Tuesday.
The Astros are, deservedly so, getting bashed around the entire league, and it's likely cathartic for someone who was as deeply affected by their transgressions as Judge.