Judging Aaron Judge’s side eye and Mets rotation issues

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[Bangs on trash can] Everyone gather! We have cheating charges to deal with. (Don’t worry, it will be a short meeting). We also have rowdy stories, a Mets recording and remember one of the league’s most endearing characters. I’m Levi Weaver, here with Ken Rosenthal – welcome to The Windup!

Come on my love, give me a sign

Cheating accusations are always a big deal, but since the 2017 Astros scandal, the topic has become a bit more radioactive. Last night, broadcasters in Toronto noticed Aaron Judge looking towards the Yankees dugout before a pitch was delivered. As they were talking about it, the judge turned his head.

Yeah, it’ll pour gasoline right on the spark.

Kaitlyn McGrath and Brendan Kuty were on it — you can get the whole story here. A few highlights:

• Jays manager John Schneider said the team was aware and looking into the situation, and admitted it was “a bit strange for a hitter to be looking in that direction”.

• Schneider is right: It was really weird! But after the game, the judge said he was looking at his teammates who were still barking at plate umpire Clint Vondrak, who had just ejected Aaron Boone for arguing over balls and strikes. The judge said he wanted them to stop so he could concentrate.

• The most important point was raised by Kuty: if the judge had “cheated” (note: it is not cheating if a pitcher tips pitches and a team catches them), the Wouldn’t other Yankees hitters have peeked over, too? They weren’t, so unless there’s more damning evidence presented, I think it’s, well, just a little weird.

Ken’s Corner: Getting late for the Mets

Remember the heyday of spring training, when the Mets thought the highest payroll in major league history would almost guarantee them a spot in the playoffs, if not the World Series?

With the season about a quarter out, the Mets are 20-22, 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves, half a game behind the third-place Marlins and just 1 1/2 games ahead of the last- place Nationals. In back-to-back series against the Tigers, Rockies, Reds and Nationals, four of the worst teams in the majors, the Mets went just 4-9.

• The team’s offense is a disappointment, hitless in four games against the rebuilding Nats and ranking in the bottom third of the majors in two runs per game and slugging percentage. Another major area of ​​concern is the Mets’ rotation, even with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer both finally healthy.

• The Mets are a classic example of how a team can start a season with eight or nine potential starters and still be caught short six weeks into the season. One of the supposed depth plays David Peterson was again ineffective against the Nationals on Monday. His ERA is now 8.08.

• Carlos Carrasco, about to end his month-long stint on the injured list with elbow problems, isn’t a surefire substitute, not when he’s 36 and has an 8 ERA .56 in his first three starts.

• Elieser Hernandez, another secondary option, has yet to start due to a shoulder injury. José Quintana remains out after undergoing surgery on his left rib cage. Kodai Senga and Tylor Megill’s adjusted ERAs are both slightly better than the league average.

The good news: Scherzer finally looked like himself against the Nationals on Sunday. Verlander, after impressive performances against the Reds and Tigers, makes his third start on Tuesday against the Rays.

The Mets need both fully fit, pretty much for the rest of the season. Their situation is so urgent.

Sing this song out loud

Anytime Rustin Dodd and Jayson Jenks team up, it’s going to be good. When the subject is one of the most unique and entertaining baseball players in baseball history, this is a must read.

You may remember the antics of José Lima: guns, celebrations, general extravagance. Baseball has come a long way in appreciating the Latin flair for celebration, but Lima – a major leaguer from 1994 to 2006 – was ahead of his time, salsa dancing and stomping his way to the highlights reels . Behind the scenes, it was no different.

Lima sang a song called El Mambo de Lima and line danced to Randy Travis. He fired an imaginary gun at batters after strikeouts and yelled at Mini Jose Lima who he said was living in his glove. And on the days he started, when most pitchers are serious and reserved, he put on a clubhouse show like his teammates had never seen: strutting, singing, joking, dancing.

“And often,” says teammate Brad Ausmus, “just in a jockstrap.”

OK, maybe a little different.

Lima died at age 37 in 2010, but “Lima Time” will live forever in fans’ hearts (there’s even an aptly titled “Lima Time Time” podcast in the Houston area).

More astro reading: Not quite “Lima Time”, but “La Grasa” sounds good. Chandler Rome’s profile on Framber Valdez is well worth reading.

No one’s hurt, you’ve done nothing wrong

I’ll start here: if you drink five beers and yell “youuuu f——suuuuuuck” in athletes, we all implore you to consider going to therapy. But sometimes, when a mischievous and mischievous soul gets it into his head to annoy the players (drunk guy in section 106, it’s not encouragement), horseplay can be [deep sigh] entertaining.

Whether – WHETHER – you’re good at it, sometimes even players agree, as evidenced by a few anecdotes from this story of Zack Meisel’s Guardians.

Like the guy who brought a “2016: IT’S YOUR FAULT” sign to salute Terry Francona for seven years in a row. Or the former deputy mayor of Charleston, W.Va., who brought a (working) toaster to games and researched opposing players’ high school and college careers.

Somehow, that incident, when Myles Straw scaled an outside wall at Yankee Stadium, didn’t happen. It’s a good example of what not to do – the fan was tearing up Steven Kwan after injury.

If you have to heckle, don’t be mean, just try to make a few people laugh.

Baseball Card of the Week: 1964 Topps Nellie Fox

I bought a small batch of 1964 Topps Colt .45s this week (it had a Rusty Staub rookie card), but didn’t notice the Nellie Fox card at first. I did a double take when I finally saw it. I completely forgot that Fox played the last two years of his Hall of Fame career in Houston.

It’s one of my favorite genres: players wearing uniforms that are easy to forget. Reggie Jackson on the Orioles? Dale Murphy, whose last year was with the Colorado Rockies extension? Or how about a more recent one: Félix Hernández with the Braves?

Handshakes and High Five

Michael Wacha took a no-hitter in the eighth inning, but all he has to show for it is a win that ended a five-game losing streak.

The Cardinals won 18-1 last night. They’re 7-1 in their last eight games and Willson Contreras is back behind the plate, so whatever was going on has seemingly been resolved. Things are still a mess — St. Louis still has the worst record in the NL — but for about a week now it’s been more Jackson Pollock and less “stomped over spilled SpaghettiO box on the mat.”

Think your team has a Cy Young or MVP nominee? See if our triumvirate of Power Rankings writers agrees with you.

After two Tommy John surgeries and a trip to the independent prom he almost turned down, Justin Topa has played a big part in the Mariners bullpen this year.

Sticking with the Mariners: Cal Raleigh homered on both sides of home plate on Monday. Can you believe he’s the first receiver to Never do this in Fenway Park’s 112 year history??

Man, that Twins/Dodgers game was a 12 inning, three run circus. (The Dodgers won it 9-8 on a walk).

Zach Buchanan spoke to scouts, and they responded. Here’s your minor league roundup, with scout notes on Henry Davis (PIT), Evan Carter (TEX) and Carson Williams (TB), along with some notes, highlights and lowlights.

The Starkville guys brought in the Orioles broadcasters this week. It’s a good time, as always.

(Photo: Cole Burston/Getty Images)

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