A few days ago, a clip of Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, and DJ LeMahieu drinking beer at a New York Rangers game went viral. First and foremost, all three players get a gold star for supporting the local team in another sport, donning matching Rangers sweaters, and knowing exactly what to do with their beverages when the spotlight found them. Even if you root for the New Jersey Devils or New York Islanders, a non-local hockey franchise, or don’t care about hockey whatsoever, you have to appreciate one-third of the Yankee lineup showing support for their counterparts, especially in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
Here at Bronx Pinstripes, we strive to analyze the Yankees in every way possible. For some reason, beer-drinking stats don’t appear on Baseball-Reference. There are no Statcast metrics for chugging speed on Baseball Savant. We’re going to have to break this down the old-fashioned way with eyeball scouting. Here are 524 career home runs’ worth of beer chuggers in action:
Drink in that clip. It’s time to break it down using the conventional 20-80 scouting scale because, after all, this is a baseball article.
The veteran leadership Rizzo brings to the lineup is clearly evident in his drinking technique. First of all, he starts with more liquid in his cup than either of his teammates. He doesn’t get a great first jump, taking a moment to steel himself before pounding his beer. His first sip isn’t special, and it appears as though he’s falling behind. That’s when his second gear kicks in. He opens his throat and drains the rest of his cup in one gulp, easily beating his teammates to the finish line.
This is the chugging acumen of a player who has fought through adversity. He finishes by raising his empty cup to the crowd and shouting, “LET’S GO!” A true moment of triumph indeed, coming back from an 0-2 count to crush a bomb and take a curtain call. Well done.
Beer Chugging Scouting Grade: 60
Judge is about four inches taller and 30-40 lb. more massive than either of his teammates. The betting odds would clearly favor him to win a chugging contest, but size doesn’t count for much in this noble endeavor. His strategy of taking several little sips leads to a delayed finish. A few larger gulps would have served him much better.
We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and presume this wasn’t his first beer of the day, but it’s not a great look from our de facto captain. Even the best players go 0-4 sometimes, but he needs to go back to the video room and revisit his technique.
LeMahieu gets the job done, but his swig is noisy with extraneous moving parts that don’t help his aesthetic. He starts with an emptier cup than either of his teammates so he ought to have been first to the finish, but he gets railroaded by the powerhouse that is Rizzo.
Ultimately, his two-gulp strategy is effective, even if he makes some goofy faces along the way. He follows up by bowing his head as though in physical pain. Again, it’s fair to assume he was already several beers deep into the evening. It’s not the kind of technique anyone should emulate, but it’s reasonably effective nonetheless.