Aaron Judge Surprises Kid After Father's Death Touching Pregame Moment

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Touching moment on the baseball field Tuesday ... Aaron Judge took time out of his pregame warmup to surprise a little kid whose dad just recently died -- and their meeting was awesome.

Kellen Wilson's father, Kyle -- who attended Judge's alma mater, Fresno State -- tragically passed away last October at the age of the 36 ... and Judge was so moved by the story, he sent the kid a jersey a few weeks later.

But, when Aaron's Yankees made the trip to Wilson's hometown to play the A's on Tuesday ... it was unclear if Judge would be able to meet up with Kellen in person, especially after the team bypassed pregame batting practice.

But, Judge made the time to go seek out Kellen anyway ... and the two had an awesome meeting -- which Kellen's mom said was a complete surprise to everyone.

"He [Kellen] had no idea, though [that he was going to meet Judge]," Chelsy Wilson told MLB.com ... "And we had no idea. And when the Yankees didn’t take batting practice, they thought no way."

"But Kyle is pulling strings from above. We are so grateful to Mr. Judge. He has been an incredible role model to Kellen, even sending Kellen a jersey back in December."

6-foot-7 Judge took a picture with Kellen on the field, signed his jersey and autographed his bat ... and the two were even able to have a short conversation.

Then, Judge went out and hit one of the most monstrous home runs of the season ... blasting a 474-footer!!!

"He is exactly the kind of human and player Kyle told Kellen to look up to," Chelsy said. "How hard he works. How he treats others. And all he stands for."

#Amazing

Brett Gardner & the Yankees Multiple Ejections in Indians Game ... Boone, Sabathia Tossed Too

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Another day, another Yankees meltdown that ended with Brett Gardner and others getting ejected by the umpires. Gotta love those hot August baseball games!!!

This one was pretty wild -- the Yanks were playing the Cleveland Indians Saturday in a close game, which erupted in chaos around the 6th inning ... when Cameron Maybin was called out on a third strike he and his team felt was off the plate.

Manager Aaron Boone felt very strongly about it, in fact ... and was quickly ejected by home-plate umpire Ben May when he started losing it on the field. Over, right? WRONG!!!

Shortly after Boone was tossed, Gardner started banging a bat on the roof of the Yankees' dugout ... which got him ejected as well. Pitcher C.C. Sabathia was pissed too, and he got tossed almost immediately afterward after seemingly challenging the umpire.

Both Gardner and Sabathia had to be held back by their teammates -- luckily, things didn't escalate from there. Even luckier for the Yankees, they ended up winning the game 6-5, despite the ejections.

The umpire face-offs seems to be a regular thing for the boys in pinstripes lately -- Gardner was ejected last week after a case of mistaken identity. And, of course, Boone got ejected -- and subsequently suspended -- last month when he got in an ump's face.

Never change, Yankee nation.

Aaron Judge Two Reasons Why Yanks Are So Good ... Here They Are!!!

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KEYS TO SUCCESS
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How the hell are the New York Yankees killing EVERYBODY this year???

Aaron Judge tells TMZ Sports there are TWO reasons ... and ya gotta hear them from his mouth for yourself!!!

Of course, the Yanks have the most wins in baseball this season -- they're in a tie with the Dodgers with 81 -- and are cruising to an AL East championship.

Of course, they were a playoff team last season ... but they were nowhere near this good -- a lot of people are considering them the World Series favorite now!

So, what's caused the big improvement? Their star outfielder told us out in NYC on Wednesday ... and does his answer surprise ya???

Carlos Beltran Astros Crushed Trade Deadline ... I Gotta Admit It

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Despite working for the NY Yankees these days ... even Carlos Beltran had to admit the Houston Astros CRUSHED the MLB treadline -- telling TMZ Sports he loved the Zack Greinke pickup!

"I mean, Greinke's one of the best pitchers in the game," Beltran says.

Of course, Carlos did have two stints as an Astro during his 20-year MLB career ... but the 42-year-old now works as an adviser to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

But, Beltran just had to put work allegiances aside when our camera guy asked about the league's trade deadline moves ... saying the Astros are going to be VERY tough to beat now.

"They have three starting guys over there that are No. 1 on any team in baseball."

Beltran ain't kidding, the two favorites for the AL Cy Young this year are Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander ... and with a 2.90 ERA and 135 Ks, Greinke was a leader for the award in the NL before the trade.

But, Carlos still showed his Yanks love despite their inability to make a big move at the deadline ... saying he still thinks NY has enough to win the World Series!!

Bucky Dent Thurman Munson's Death Still Hurts ... 'A Guy We Loved'

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IT STILL HURTS
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Bucky Dent tells TMZ Sports he's still hurting over Thurman Munson's tragic death 40 years ago ... saying, "He was a tremendous teammate and a guy we loved."

Munson -- a former New York Yankees captain -- was killed when he crashed his Cessna Citation I/SP jet during flying practice on a baseball off day on Aug. 2, 1979.

Officials said he didn't take the proper steps when trying to land the plane ... and when the aircraft crashed -- Munson suffered a broken neck that led to his death.

Last Friday was the 40-year anniversary of the tragedy ... and when we got his ex-Yanks teammate, Dent, out in NYC -- he told us the accident still stings.

"For us in the Yankee organization, playing with him, it was definitely a shock."

Munson was on his way to being a Yankee legend before the crash ... in 11 seasons he was a 7-time All-Star, 2-time World Series champ and the league's 1976 MVP.

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In fact, George Steinbrenner immediately retired Munson's No. 15 ... and in 1980, the team placed a plaque memorializing Thurman in Monument Park.

On the plaque's inscription, Steinbrenner wrote, "Our captain and leader has not left us - today, tomorrow, this year, next... Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him."

Johnny Damon Warns Yanks & Astros ... Red Sox Will Be Scary In Playoffs!!!

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Johnny Damon is sending a huge warning signal to the AL's top dogs ... telling TMZ Sports if the Yankees and Astros let Boston climb into the postseason -- the Sox might just win it all!!!

We got Johnny out in NYC this week and had to ask some baseball questions ... and that's when the 2-time All-Star told us teams NEED to be afraid of the Red Sox's potential.

"If they can somehow get above Tampa and make the playoffs, they're going to be scary," Damon says.

And, if you think Johnny is just blowin' smoke because he's a Sox legend ... he ain't -- he tells us he's still got some bitterness toward the way he left the team after the 2005 season.

"Boston and I, it was a little like a divorce," he says.

Johnny tells us the Red Sox are legit this year ... and if they had actually signed a closer in the offseason, he thinks they'd be much closer to the Yankees in the AL East standings right now.

Still, Damon says he thinks the Astros are the favorite for now ... saying when he watched Justin Verlander pitch earlier this week -- he didn't seem hittable!!!

By the way, Damon also tells us he hasn't spoken to his good friend and former teammate David Ortiz since he left the hospital ... but he made sure to send his well wishes to Big Papi.

Mariano Rivera Yankees Will Make World Series ... 'We Need to Win This!!!'

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Good news for the 2019 New York Yankees ... Mariano Rivera says THIS is the year the Bronx Bombers are going back to the World Series!

"I believe this is the year that we going back," Rivera said at Cipriani in NYC ... "Definitely we NEED to win this World Series."

Of course, the last time the Yanks won the World Series, it was 2009 ... and Rivera was the Yankees closer, playing alongside stars like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.

In fact, a bunch of Mariano's teammates from that squad came out for Rivera's Hall of Fame induction speech in Cooperstown earlier this month.

Jeter got a private jet to fly out along with Posada -- and Rivera tells TMZ Sports it meant the world to have those guys in the house for his induction.

"Having them there means a lot to me," Mariano said ... "As soon as I let them know, they were on board."

Joe Torre also made it out to the induction -- and Mariano says his former manager will always have a special place in his heart.

"Mr. Torre was one of the key pieces of the puzzle that was able to keep us together," Rivera said.

"For me, he was a blessing, a father figure, a brother, a mentor ... I mean, so many things. It was a blessing to me."

As for World Series prediction, the 2019 Yankees are currently in 1st place in the AL East by far ... with stars like Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman and Gleyber Torres leading the way.

Yankees' Cameron Maybin Cuts Deal To Close DUI Case ... Ordered To Attend Alcohol Abuse Screening

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11:45 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained the full details of Maybin's plea deal ... and the Yankees outfielder will have to attend alcohol abuse screening and complete any treatment recommended by the screening agency in order to uphold his end of the bargain.

Maybin will also have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and fees as part of the agreement.

NY Yankees stud Cameron Maybin will make his return from the injured list without his DUI case looming over his head ... TMZ Sports has learned the OF just cut a deal to close the case.

Maybin was arrested back on March 1 in Scottsdale during spring training with the SF Giants after cops pulled him over for drunk driving at around 2:25 AM.

Maybin bombed field sobriety tests ... ultimately blowing a .127.

In police footage of the arrest, obtained by TMZ Sports, you can see Cameron crying and apologizing for the incident.

CAUGHT WINE HANDED
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Maybin -- who was cut by the Giants shortly after the arrest -- was eventually hit with several charges, including DUI, speeding and unsafe lane change.

He faced up to a year behind bars if he was convicted.

But, court records show Maybin cut a deal with prosecutors this month ... and in exchange for a guilty plea on one of his DUI counts -- officials dismissed the rest of the charges against the MLB player.

Unclear what Maybin's punishment will be for the guilty plea ... we're working on it.

It's good news for Maybin -- he's been a stud since landing with the Yankees back in April, and he's expected to be a key contributor for the team when he returns from the injured list soon.

As for the injury, the 32-year-old is still out with a left calf strain. Yanks manager Aaron Boone told reporters Monday that Maybin could return to the lineup as early as next week.

Originally Published -- 7/22 4:30 PM PT

Yankees' DJ LeMahieu Deserves AL MVP ... Charlie Blackmon Says

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Charlie Blackmon appears to have ZERO issues with the idea that DJ LeMahieu could beat out Mike Trout for the AL MVP ... telling TMZ Sports the Yankees 2nd baseman deserves it!

"He's always been a really good player," the Rockies superstar says ... "I guess everybody knows about it now."

LeMahieu has been crushing it for the Bronx Bombers in his first season in NY ... he's batting .333 with 71 runs scored and 68 RBIs.

In fact, DJ's been so good lately ... MVP talk has seriously kicked up for the guy -- and Blackmon seems to have no issue with that.

Charlie tells us it ain't just DJ's bat that's impressive -- the All-Star outfielder says he's noticed the guy's unreal defense in the middle of the diamond too.

"He's doing everything well," Charlie says.

Of course, DJ's got some pretty stiff competition for the AL MVP -- Trout's hitting .300 with 32 home runs and 79 RBI out in L.A.

But, the Yankees are the best team in baseball ... so should DJ get the nod over Mike???

Stay tuned ...

Trevor Story Praises Voit For Taking Ball To Face ... 'He's Tough, Man'

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Luke Voit taking a 91 MPH fastball to the face and STAYING IN THE GAME impressed even the guys he was playing against ... so says Colorado Rockies superstar Trevor Story.

"He's tough, man," Story tells TMZ Sports.

If ya missed it ... the Yankees first baseman took a heater straight to the chin in Saturday's game against the Rockies -- but he shrugged it off and kept on playing.

Story says that feat was pretty unreal ... telling us, "That was impressive, man."

Of course, the Yanks ended up winning the series over the Rockies 2-1 ... and, despite the sore jaw, Voit took all four of his ABs in Sunday's game.

BEAST!!!

By the way ... since it's Baseball Hall of Fame weekend, we had to ask Story about Todd Helton and Larry Walker's chances at eventually getting inducted -- and Story tells us he thinks it'll happen some day, FOR SURE!!!

Yankees' Luke Voit Takes 91 MPH Fast ball to the Face ... Somehow Stays in Game

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Luke Voit is one tough SOB -- he took a baseball to the face this weekend, but temporarily stayed in the game and even ran the bases right afterward.

The Yankees slugger was up to bat Saturday against the Rockies at the bottom of the 4th -- with the Yanks up 6-0 -- and on a 0-2 fastball from pitcher Chad Bettis, which got away from him ... the ball made contact with the front of Voit's face ... grazing his lip and chin.

It looked a lot worse than it ended up being, but geez ... talk about freaky. Miraculously, Voit avoided a serious injury and took his place at first ... no big pause or anything either.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone rushed out right away to check on his first baseman, and as Voit worked out some kinks in his jaw and wiped off his lip, he seemed to signal that he was okay. A short while later, he got to third on another hit ... and appeared fine doing it.

Still, the ball definitely connected with Voit's face and it's quite a sight to behold in slow-motion. You can see his face jiggle and vibrate as the ball slides across his mug.

Now, Voit did eventually come out of the game after the Yanks were up by at least 8 or 9 runs, but considering he didn't immediately hit the bench says a lot. Cajones!!!

Aaron Boone Suspended 1 Game For 'F*cking Savages' Rant

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11:58 AM PT -- The MLB has announced it has suspended Boone one game -- plus an undisclosed fine -- for his epic rant against umpire Brennan Miller.

Boone will serve his ban Friday night when the Yankees take on the Colorado Rockies.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone FLIPPED OUT on an umpire Thursday ... and the whole rant was caught on a hot mic -- it was EPIC!!!

It all went down in the 2nd inning of the Yanks-Rays game in NY ... when Boone began chirping at home plate ump Brennan Miller over balls and strikes.

Boone didn't hold back from the dugout, telling Brennan to "Bear the f**k down! Let's go!"

It didn't take long for Miller to toss Boone from the game ... but that only made Aaron's profanity-laced rant grow.

"My guys are f**king savages in that f**king box, right?!" Boone yelled in Brennan's face ... "And, you're having a piece of s**t start to this game."

Aaron continued, "I feel bad for ya. But, f**king get better ... Our guys are f**king savages in that box. Our guys are savages in the f**king box. Tighten it up right now, OKAY?!?"

Seemed a bunch of Yankees fans agreed with Boone's rant ... and even outfielder Brett Gardner -- who had just been called out on strikes -- gave the manager a standing ovation.

Unclear if the whole tirade was worth it ... the game is still tied up 2-2 in the fifth -- but we're all super grateful for the hot mics regardless!!!

Originally Published -- 7/18 3:10 PM 

Marcus Stroman I'd Love To Pitch For Yankees ... 'One Day'

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SOME DAY
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Marcus Stroman just admitted to TMZ Sports he wants to pitch for the Yankees ... telling us, "One day."

Of course, the superstar pitcher is still a member of Toronto's squad, and he says he's "focused on my time with the Blues Jays now."

But, with the Yanks reportedly interested in the 28-year-old NY native ... he made it clear to our camera guy before hittin' the Blue Jays team bus Wednesday -- he'd be fine with the move!!

Stroman has previously hinted he's down to rock the pinstripes ... telling a group of reporters earlier this week that he's "built for the bright lights."

Unclear what the Yankees are willing to offer for Stroman -- who has a 3.04 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 17 starts this season -- but they do desperately need a starting pitcher for the second half of the season.

Could Stroman's clear willingness to be a Yankee help move trade talks along??

Stay tuned ...

NY Yankees Unveil LGBTQ Plaque In Monument Park ... 'We Welcome Everyone'

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Big moment at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday ... when some of the team's biggest stars helped to unveil a new plaque in Monument Park paying tribute to the gay rights movement.

Pitchers CC Sabathia and Dellin Betances -- along with G.M. Brian Cashman -- held the ceremony to reveal the Stonewall Inn plaque ... which honors the people who fought back during a violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in NYC back in 1969.

The incident at the Stonewall is credited with igniting the LGBTQ rights movement.

In fact, the current owners of the Stonewall Inn -- which is still operational in Greenwich Village -- were also on hand for the ceremony.

In addition to the plaque, the Yankees are also working with owners Stacy Lentz and Kurt Kelly to create a scholarship benefiting LGBTQ public school students.

"[The Yankees have] gone beyond a Pride Night," Lentz told the NY Daily News ... "They understand that having a permanent fixture when fans come here, LGBTQ fans are going to feel safe and welcome."

Cashman told the media, "We want to be an organization that represents inclusion and safe harbor. We try and make a difference that way."

Yankees manager Aaron Boone added, "You wear this uniform, you work for this organization, it carries a lot of weight. I think that it’s important as an organization we welcome everyone, not only to work for this franchise but from a fanbase.”

Cody Bellinger Better Than Arenado And Yelich ... Says Jerry Hairston

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ONE OF THE BEST PLAYING NOW
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Bryce Harper, Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado ... you are NOT better than Cody Bellinger, so says Jerry Hairston Jr., who tells TMZ Sports the Dodgers star is the 2nd best player in the MLB!!

"Outside of Mike Trout, he's the best player in baseball," the former World Series champ says ... "I think he will be the MVP."

Of course, Belli is in the middle of an EPIC season ... dude has 25 home runs, 62 RBIs and is batting .353 -- but most baseball experts still have him outside of the MLB's ultra-elite.

But, Hairston tells us Bellinger not only deserves to be in the top 5 ... he's No. 2 just behind Trout, saying, "I really believe it."

"He does everything well. He's right there with Mike. Cody is awesome."

We also spoke with the former Dodgers stud about Walker Buehler ... and Hairston says he's a true ace now -- but he tells us why the 24-year-old still ain't better than Clayton Kershaw yet!

Hairston played in the MLB from 1998 to 2013 -- with stints on the Yankees, Dodgers, Orioles, Cubs and more! He was a part of the NYY 2009 championship squad.

Ron Guidry On CC Sabathia ... He Deserves A Spot In Monument Park!!!

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Yankees legend Ron Guidry says CC Sabathia deserves a place right next to Derek Jeter in Monument Park ... telling TMZ Sports straight-up, "Why not?!"

CC has been pitching in pinstripes since 2009 ... logging 133 wins, a 3.75 ERA and 1,650 strikeouts -- and Guidry says those numbers should get him a place in center field at Yankees Stadium.

Of course, Guidry knows a thing or two about the honor -- his number is one of only a handful to ever be retired in Monument Park -- and he tells us CC "should be" in there right alongside him.

In fact, the former Cy Young winner -- who's also a 2-time World Series champ and 4-time All-Star -- is so high on Sabathia, he tells us the 38-year-old also belongs in Pro Baseball's Hall of Fame!!!

"Why not?!" Guidry says ... "He should be [in]."

FYI ... CC is a 6-time All-Star with one Cy Young on his resume. He's got 250 career wins and 3,043 total strikeouts.