Aaron Judge Anthony Rizzo's Dog Convinced Me ... To Re-Sign With Yankees

The Yankees gave Aaron Judge 360 million reasons to return to New York, but it wasn't just about the money ... #99's adorable puppy is best friends with teammate and friend Anthony Rizzo's little pup, and the MVP couldn't split them up!

Judge -- who signed a 9-year, $360 million deal with the Yanks this offseason -- joined Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show' where he revealed Rizzo's dog Kevin was one of the reasons he ultimately came back.

Judge, whose pending free agency hung over the team as he met with different organizations who pitched him on leaving NYC -- told Fallon that Rizzo texted and called him daily, letting the slugger know he needs to resign!

But, that wasn't all Rizzo did ... the 4x-time Gold Glove first baseman pulled on Judge's heartstrings, constantly reminding him of the bond that his dog shares with Aaron's dog, Penny -- and it worked!!

AJ said Penny and Kevin are best friends, adding that Rizzo leaned into their relationship to convince him to return to the Yankees.

Following his MVP season, Judge was the hottest free agent in baseball, and former Yankees like Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher publicly said the team should do whatever it takes to bring him back.

Rizzo understood the assignment.

Last month, after Aaron signed his huge deal, the Yanks named Judge the 16th captain in the franchise's history, joining a list of storied icons.

Aaron Judge Call Me Cap!!! ... 16th Captain In Yankees History

Lou Gehrig. Babe Ruth. Thurman Munson. Don Mattingly. Derek Jeter.

Aaron Judge just joined baseball royalty ... becoming the 16th captain in New York Yankees history.

#99 received the honor in his first press conference after signing a massive 9-year, $360 million deal to remain in pinstripes ... with Hal Steinbrenner announcing the decision just minutes ago.

"It is my great pleasure, thankfully, despite a brief absence, technically speaking, to welcome Aaron not only back to the Bronx, but to welcome Aaron back to the Bronx as the 16th captain of this great organization, the New York Yankees," Steinbrenner said Wednesday.

"An honor and position he greatly deserves."

Jeter -- the most recent captain in franchise history -- was present for the ceremony ... and he appeared thrilled to pass down the title to the slugger.

Of course, many expected the move after Judge agreed to come back to the Yanks ... after several teams tried to sign him in a blockbuster free agency.

Ex-NYY player Nick Swisher even predicted it would happen ... previously telling TMZ Sports, "I think he signs a monster deal; 7, 8-year deal, and guess what we do? We put that C on his chest and the Yankees fans -- it makes everybody happy."


He was off by just one year on the final terms of the contract ... but Swish might want to buy some lotto tickets ASAP!!

Aaron Judge Fan Who Auctioned Ball Not Upset ... Despite Costing Himself $1.5 Mil!

The fan who caught Aaron Judge's historic 62nd home run ball has no regrets about rejecting a $3 million offer, despite it only raking in half that number at auction.

Cory Youmans, the Texas Rangers fan who caught the ball in Arlington, saw the ball sell for $1.5 million over the weekend at auction ... but Cory says he's at peace with how things played out.

"Congratulations to Joe! Given the historical significance of #62, it was important to me that the selling process was fair, accessible, and transparent," Youmans said Sunday in a statement.

"As this chapter comes to an end and I reflect on catching home run ball #62, I'll always remember the kindness of the fans around me on that exciting night in Arlington," Youmans said. "It was the epitome of how sports brings humans together, and I'll cherish that memory forever.”

Remember ... Youmans caught the ball on Oct. 4, and the Yankees initially tried to bargain with him to give it up, but Cory refused.

As expected, CY began receiving offers for the ball, culminating in a $3 million offer from a private buyer, which Youmans turned down, thinking he could make more if the ball went to auction.

Unfortunately for Youmans, that wasn't the case. As for the new owner, the auction says it was sold to a "prominent Midwestern businessman and collector," though the person wasn't identified.

"I am lucky, blessed, and grateful to own a piece of baseball and American history."

CC Sabathia Yankees Didn't Overpay For Judge ... $360 Mil Was Just Right!!!


The price tag to keep Aaron Judge in pinstripes was expensive ... but according to CC Sabathia, the outfielder was worth every penny of the $360 MILLION deal!

Judge finally decided to re-sign with the Yankees last week -- opting to stay with his original team instead of going to either San Francisco or San Diego -- and the move certainly didn't come cheap for NY.

The Yanks agreed to pay him $40 million per season for the next NINE years -- a massive contract for a 30-year-old.

But, when we got Sabathia with his wife, Amber, out at their PitCCh In Foundation charity event in New Jersey on Monday, the ex-Yankees star made it clear -- his old team didn't get fleeced in the pact.

"I think he got paid the perfect amount," CC said of Judge.

Of course, CC might be biased -- he was a teammate of Judge's for four years in the Bronx -- but a lot of people would agree nonetheless. Judge is coming off one of the greatest MLB seasons ever ... where he hit an AL record 62 home runs, batted .311, and won his first-ever MVP award.

As for what the Yankees have to do next this offseason ... Sabathia says they don't need to get Carlos Rodón to consider things a success -- given the way the Judge situation all unfolded.

"The biggest signing was to get Aaron Judge," he said. "And they got that accomplished. So, everything after that is just icing on the cake."


By the way, Sabathia's event Monday was super cool -- he and Amber helped 300-plus kids have an awesome holiday party at Space Events in Englewood ... that featured video games, bowling, dancing and more.

And, get this ... the Mayor of Englewood gave CC and Amber a key to the city at the event, too!!

Aaron Judge Re-Signs With Yankees ... 9-Year, $360 Mil Contract!!!

The Judge has made his ruling ... and it's GREAT news for Yankees fans.

Aaron Judge is re-signing with New York -- and, according to multiple reports, he's getting paid handsomely to do so ... agreeing to a 9-year, $360 MILLION contract.

The Yankees had been competing with the San Francisco Giants for the outfielder's services ... and for a brief period on Tuesday, they had appeared to lose the battle.

But, after seven great seasons in NY, Judge is clearly now looking to finish his career in the Bronx.

The 30-year-old reigning AL MVP is coming off the best year of his life ... hitting a staggering 62 home runs (the new AL record) while logging 131 RBI and a .311 batting average.

Judge in '22 also led the league in runs scored (133), walks (111), and slugging percentage (.686).

The huge season seemingly helped him get a wild pay bump too ... considering he reportedly turned down a $200-plus million contract from the Yanks before the year began.


Judge will now look to build on a pinstripe career that's already seen him bat .284 with 220 home runs and 497 total RBI.

Rejoice, NY ... rejoice!

Marilyn Monroe Her Suit from Joe DiMaggio Wedding Going, Going ... Up for Sale!!!

The two-piece wedding suit Marilyn Monroe wore for her marriage to Joe DiMaggio is hitting the auction block ... and it's expected to fetch seven figures.

Marilyn's 'fit from the January 1954 wedding to the New York Yankees star will be offered to the public through Gotta Have Rock and Roll, and although it's one of her more conservative looks ... folks at the auction house think the winning bid will be spectacular -- somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million!

The historic clothing is a two-piece dark brown Serge wedding suit, with a white fur collar on the jacket.

Marilyn and Joe's wedding was a huge event back in the day ... and there are tons of photos and videos of them kissing while she's in the wedding suit.

And, here's a fun fact: glamorous Marilyn totally went mainstream for her big day!

Gotta Have Rock and Roll says she originally bought the suit at Macy's, and it was later gifted to the mother-in-law of her personal photog, Milton Greene.


Bidding opens today and the auction runs through Dec. 9.

Blue Jays' Alek Manoah Gerrit Cole's A Cheater!!! ... 'Worst' In MLB History

It ain't Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire ... no, according to Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah, the "worst cheater" in the history of the MLB is Yankees star Gerrit Cole.

The 24-year-old Toronto righty dropped the spicy accusation while on Serge Ibaka's "How Hungry Are You?" show ... in order to avoid drinking a cricket-filled, tea-like concoction.

"He cheated," Manoah told the NBA star without much hesitation at all. "He used a lot of, like, sticky stuff to make his pitches better. And he kinda got called out on it."

Back in 2021, the MLB famously began a crackdown on the use of foreign substances on baseballs -- and many around the league believed it really affected Cole, who some thought had relied on it all heavily.

In fact, Cole's now-teammate, Josh Donaldson, specifically called out the right-hander when he was a Minnesota Twins, saying he could see Cole's spin rates dramatically drop following the league's ruling.

Clearly, Manoah thinks there's some serious truth behind the allegations ... though he didn't evaluate further during the show.

As for Cole's take on it all, he never specifically denied using sticky stuff to make his baseballs move more ... infamously telling media members in 2021, "I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest."

For what it's worth, Cole had an All-Star season in 2022 regardless, logging 257 strikeouts in 200.2 innings with a 3.50 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

Aaron Judge 62nd HR Ball Hitting Auction After Fan Rejected $3M Offer

Aaron Judge's 62nd home run ball could be yours -- the record-setting baseball is about to hit the auction block -- after the fan who caught the historic piece of memorabilia turned down a whopping $3 million offer!

The ball will soon be on the block at Goldin Auctions ... one of the most prominent online sports sellers in the world.

As we previously reported, Cory Youmans caught the baseball on October 4th ... while he was seated in the outfield for the Yankees vs. Rangers game in Texas. The Yanks tried to convince the fan to give up the ball that night, but the fan refused to part ways with it.

In the weeks since, Youmans -- who's been living it up -- has received increasingly larger offers for the ball ... culminating in a massive $3 million offer.


Clearly, the fan believes he can make even more at auction ... and he's got company.

“The ball has the potential to become the highest-priced baseball ever sold,” Ken Goldin said, adding ... “Three million plus would be my estimate.”

Of course, Judge set the NY Yankees and American League single-season home run record this season ... topping the 61 HR mark set by former A.L. MVP and Yanks star, Roger Maris, in 1961.

If the baseball is to set the record, it'll need to sell for at least $3,005,001 ... in order to surpass the sale price of Mark McGwire's 70th home run (the slugger played in the National League), which he smashed during his historic 1998 season in which he went toe-to-toe with Sammy Sosa.

Will Judge's record-breaking ball now break another record?! Stay tuned!

Derek Jeter I Want Aaron Judge Back In Pinstripes Hopeful Yanks Re-Sign Star


Like millions of Yankees fans ... Derek Jeter tells TMZ Sports he's super hopeful his old squad is able to keep Aaron Judge in Pinstripes -- and re-sign the superstar this offseason.

Jeets didn't mince words when we got him out in NYC this week ... explaining he "of course!" wants the outfielder back at Yankee Stadium for 2023 and beyond.

The problem? It's unclear if that'll actually happen.

Judge, of course, is a free agent ... and after turning down a monster contract offer from the Yankees before the 2022 season began, some believe he could be looking elsewhere in the coming weeks and months.

Jeter told us he isn't sure where things stand in the negotiations between Judge and the Yankees -- or where else in the MLB the star could end up.

But, watch the clip ... he sure seems to be wishing Judge stays put.

After Judge's historic '22 season -- it's not hard to see why the former shortstop believes the Yankees should stop at nothing to get him back ... the dude hit 62 home runs, and batted .311!!

MLB free agency fully kicks off in the next couple days and weeks -- we'll all find out soon enough if it'll end with Judge back in NY ... and Jeter with a smile on his face.

Nick Swisher I Predict Judge Will Sign 8-Year Deal With Yankees ... And Get Captaincy!!!


Breathe easy, Yankees fans ... Aaron Judge will re-sign with NY this offseason for a monstrous 8-year deal -- at least, that's according to Nick Swisher.

The ex-Pinstripes outfielder made the prediction to TMZ Sports this week ... as speculation about Judge's future continues to rage on.

Because of his age (he's 30 now), and the way he turned down a mega $200-plus million deal before the 2022 season began, many think the star outfielder could move on to another team. But, Swisher made it clear, he thinks Judge will be back ... and the Yankees will sweeten the pot by giving him the big deal and the captaincy.

"Here's what I think," Swish said. "I think he signs a monster deal; 7, 8-year deal, and guess what we do? We put that C on his chest and the Yankees fans -- it makes everybody happy."

As for a dollar figure on the contract, Swisher didn't have specific numbers for us there ... though he did say it wouldn't shock him if it were somewhere around the dollar figure of Mike Trout's annual $35 MILLION salary.

Swisher clearly doesn't think the new American League HR king will regret it, either ... telling us he thinks NY will do all it can to make sure he's surrounded by a good team.

"2023 New York Yankees World Series champs, baby!" Swisher said. "Let's go!"

Aaron Judge's 62nd HR Fan Catches Ball ... Then Balls Out In Italy!!!

home run trip

The man who caught Aaron Judge's 62nd home run ball is continuing to live the dream ... he's now on vacation in Italy -- riding around on yachts and in classic convertibles.

Cory Youmans showed what life is like on his social media page after nabbing one of the most prized possessions in baseball history ... and, yeah, it's good.

Youmans and his wife, former "The Bachelor" contestant Bri Amaranthus, made their way to the Amalfi Coast ... less than three weeks after the dude caught the Judge ball at a Yankees vs. Rangers game in Texas on Oct. 4.

The couple revealed they're seemingly sparing no expense while on the vacay ... cruising around in style both in the water and on the land.

Youmans could be seen on the trip enjoying a beer ... as well as a dip in the Mediterranean Sea.

It's unclear if the Judge ball is playing any role in the bill for the European getaway -- at the time of his big catch, Youmans only told reporters he wasn't sure if he was going to sell it.

Since then, he's been radio silent.

Of course, if he did part ways with it ... we know he got at least $2 MILLION for it -- because one auction house said earlier this month it had already made the 7-figure offer.

Either way, ball out Cory ... ya earned it with that sweet catch in left field!

Philadelphia Phillies Fan Reaches New Heights After Win ... Shotguns Beer On Light Pole!!!

Phillies fans were phull of beer phollowing their big win over the Padres on Sunday ... with one of them enjoying the suds straight from near the top of a light pole!!!

The wild chugging celebration went down in the streets of Philadelphia ... after the home team punched its ticket to the World Series with a 4-3 victory over San Diego.

You can see in video from the roadways that the crowd was going crazy enjoying its first trip to the big games since 2009 ... especially after one fan climbed a light pole to shotgun a beer.

The dude held on for his life with one arm ... while suckin' down the booze with the other.

The famous Philly Elmo also popped up on Broad Street with the drumline ... getting the crowd even more fired up.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata -- who was enjoying a bye this week -- stopped by to join in on the fun too!

No word if police had to get involved at any point during the night ... we reached out to cops, but so far we haven't heard back yet.

Ted Cruz Booed & Flipped Off At Yankees Game 'You Racist Piece Of S***!!!'

Hunter Walker Via Storyful

8:21 AM PT -- Ted Cruz told TMZ Sports on Monday morning he had absolutely no hard feelings toward Yankees fans over the reception.


"It was an awesome game -- it was spectacular," he said. "And I appreciated the great New York hospitality."

Baseball fans were all over Ted Cruz during Sunday night's playoff game at Yankee Stadium ... booing the senator relentlessly and flipping him off as he moved around his seat behind home plate.

The Texas politician -- a huge Astros fan -- showed up to the Bronx wearing orange and blue to cheer on his favorite team as it tried to punch its ticket to the World Series with a win over the Yankees.

Cruz was seen smiling before the opening pitch ... but throughout the night, he was NOT received well by fans near him.

Video of the senator shows as he got up from his seat during the game, fans jeered him over and over again. Several could be heard in the footage calling him a "f***ing loser" and a "racist piece of s***."

A photo of Cruz at the game also shows two fans even flipped him the bird from just feet away.

The 51-year-old kept his cool during it all ... smiling and waving to other fans in the crowd. At one point, he even took a selfie with a man in an Aaron Judge jersey.

Despite the scene, Cruz ended up with the last laugh, 'cause Houston beat New York, 6-5, giving them the sweep over the Pinstripes in the ALCS.

Cruz now won't have to travel far from home to watch his team play next ... the Astros host the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday.

Originally Published -- 7:15 AM PT

Houston Astros Break Out The Bubbly & Brooms!!! ... Epic ALCS Celebration After Sweep Over Yankees

The Houston Astros embarrassed the New York Yankees ... and then they danced all over their graves -- bustin' out the brooms AND the booze for an epic locker room celebration.

The party all went down on Sunday night in New York ... after the 'Stros clinched the American League Championship Series, 4-0, with a 6-5 win over the Pinstripes.

Houston's players stayed on the field after the final out to receive their trophy at a ceremony in the middle of the Yankee Stadium diamond ... but then they hit the showers -- and turned up.

The guys grabbed brooms to signify their sweep over Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton ... and grooved to music with champagne well into Monday morning.

Everyone in the locker room got rowdy -- including 73-year-old Dusty Baker, who was spotted holding a bottle in one hand and the ALCS trophy in the other.

We're sure the hangover sucks today ... but the Astros have a few days to shake it off before the World Series begins -- Game 1 against the Phillies kicks off on Friday night in Texas.

Ex-NYY Jim Leyritz Pete Rose's Advice Turned Me Into A Clutch Player ... '96 World Series Hero


Jim Leyritz, hero of the 1996 World Series, knows a little something about hitting under pressure in the playoffs ... and now the catcher/infielder/outfield (Jim basically played every position) is telling TMZ Sports his secret.

"I always was taught that at a very young age from Pete Rose is if I treated every at-bat from day one til the end of the season, it didn't matter where it was, or what was going on around me, but that at-bat was the most important one, so I never got caught up in the moment, and that's what I would tell young players," Jim says.

"Don't get caught up in the moment. It's you against him. It's no different than your first at-bat at spring training or your last at-bat of the season. Concentrate on that at-bat and don't get caught up on everything going on around you."

"It's easier said than done, but that was my mindset."

You learned that from Pete, we asked.

"I have to thank Pete Rose, as a 14-year-old kid, as a batboy for the Reds, and he gave me that advice, and its helped me through my entire life in everything I've done under pressure, that I was able to perform under pressure."

Of course, Leyritz's is most known for his 3-run home run during Game 4 of the '96 World Series ... between the Yankees and Braves. Atlanta led the series, 2 games to 1, and held a commanding 6-0 lead through 5 innings in the pivotal game.

But, the Yanks scratched a few runs across ... and then in the 8th inning, Leyritz came to the plate, down 3, with 1 out and 2 runners aboard.

Then, with one crack of the bat, Leyritz blasted a 3-run dinger to left, tying the game at 6. The game went to extra innings before the Yankees ultimately won 8-6 in the 10th, evening the series at 2 games apiece.

NY went on to win Game 5 behind a dominant performance by Andy Pettitte ... before putting the Braves down once and for all in Game 6. It was the NYY first championship since 1978.

It was Jim's most memorable moment ... but not his only one. Just one year earlier, during the 1995 MLB playoffs, Leyritz blasted a walk-off, 2-run home run in the 15th inning of the 2nd game of the ALDS, putting the Yanks up 2-0 in the series.

Now, the Yankees will face their hated rivals, the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series ... with 4 wins the only thing separating the squad from a World Series berth.

We talked to Jim about much more relating to the Yanks-Stros ... and Jim even tells us who he thinks could be the breakout star of the series (as he once was).

The Yankees won't get any rest ... Game 1 starts today in H-Town.

No rest for the weary.

Cleveland Guardians Forced To Switch Hotels ... Ahead Of Playoff Game

The Cleveland Guardians' stay in NYC ain't exactly going smoothly ... the team was forced to switch hotels Monday night just hours ahead of their pivotal Game 5 against the Yankees in the ALDS.

The issue started with Monday night's rain out of what was supposed to be the deciding Game 5 vs. the Yanks ... but Mother Nature had other ideas.

Cleveland planned to either fly to Houston (win Game 5) or back to Ohio (lose Game 5). However, the game was rained out ... and when the team tried to go back to the hotel, they were told the place was booked, according to ESPN's Eduardo Perez.

Cleveland and the NY are tied 2-2 in the best-of-five series. The Yankees are leading the Guardians 4-0  ... with game 5 being played Tuesday afternoon.

But, it's not over yet ... the series has had its fair share of thrilling moments, including Cleveland rallying from down three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night to win 6-5.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole responded when he took the hill Sunday ... propelling New York to a 4-2 victory behind a seven-inning, eight-strikeout performance at Progressive Field.

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