Anthony Rizzo used dog photos to help recruit Aaron Judge to stay with Yankees


Anthony Rizzo’s friendship with Aaron Judge was a main talking point of the Yankees’ offseason among fans, as the two were widely known as close friends, and both were free agents.

Many wondered if Rizzo re-signing with the Yanks meant optimism for Judge coming back to the Bronx, and while that is exactly how things turned out, Rizzo told Tom Verducci that he didn’t make much of a recruiting pitch to keep his friend and teammate in pinstripes.

“I wasn’t recruiting as hard as you think,” Rizzo told Verducci on the Book of Joe podcast with Joe Maddon. “[Emily] and I know him and Sam really well from last year, just getting closer. It was really just, what is going to make you happy? Just being more of a friend throughout the process instead of a teammate.

“I think in that zero hour when everything hit the fan, I was a little worried like everyone else.”

While Rizzo tried to let things play out and be a good friend to Judge, he also couldn’t help himself by pulling one subtle, but likely profound maneuver for any dog lover.

Rizzo sent Judge a picture of their two dachshunds together to remind him of what their four-legged friends would be losing if they were now on opposite sides of the country.

“I did send him a couple of pictures of our dogs together, because we both have dachshunds, saying we can’t break them up,” Rizzo said. “But it was just more encouraging of, ‘What’s gonna be best for you and Sam?’”

Judge and Rizzo showed up to spring training wearing matching shirts with dachshunds on them earlier this season, and Judge’s dachshund is named Penny. Turns out, Penny will still have her furry friend around for at least a couple more years since Rizzo is also staying put in New York.

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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