Happy anniversary to Jon Heyman’s Arson Judge tweet

Happy anniversary to Jon Heyman's Arson Judge tweet

As rumblings of a Juan Soto-to-New York trade draw ever louder, we reflect on this day one year ago, when one name set baseball Twitter ablaze: Arson Judge.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman thought he broke the news on the biggest story of the 2022 offseason: Yankee outfielder Aaron Judge was set to be a San Francisco Giant. Rumors had swirled in the time leading up that the American League MVP would get somewhere between $320 and $360 million. The Yankees were reportedly low-balling him with a $320 million offer over eight years. The towering, pinstriped prodigy was all but ready to leave New York.

Then, Heyman dropped the hammer: “Arson Judge appears headed to Giants.”

Arson? The typo was the first red flag. The tweet was up for seven minutes, then taken down. Minutes later, Heyman backtracked the reporting. “Giants say they have not heard on Aaron Judge, My apologies for jumping the gun.” According to ESPN, Judge’s agent denied the reports in a phone conversation with Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

The pile-on commenced in the comments. “Arson Judge” trended. People demanded Jon Heyman go to Twitter jail. Giants pitcher Logan Webb told Heyman what everyone in San Francisco was thinking: “Not cool, man.”

We later learned via a report from The Athletic that, amidst the dumpster fire online, Hal Steinbrenner texted Judge in the wee hours of the morning. He offered Judge a ninth guaranteed year and $40 million extra. Judge and Steinbrenner agreed to the deal, then the towering slugger was made the first team captain since Derek Jeter.

Judge later joked about the whole situation with Mookie Betts on his podcast, “On Base with Mookie Betts.”

“I think my name changed a little bit… Yeah, Arson Judge,” the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year joked. “I haven’t seen his stats yet with the Giants.”

Judge never mentioned that the deal with San Francisco was imminent, but putting together the timeline from Heyman’s then-Twitter (now X) feed and The Athletic report suggests it all but took the possibility off the table. Judge was a Giants fan growing up in northern California. San Francisco had no long-term payroll obligations and no star power. They had legitimate money on the table, and the Yankees were underselling Judge until Steinbrenner’s phone call.

A bad report is one thing, but the “Arson” typo gave it the juice and traction necessary to drive online conversation for hours. New York got serious and Judge will likely retire a Bronx Bomber. One typo potentially changed the trajectory of the MLB for the rest of the decade.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.