Juan Rincon, MLB.com, and telling me it's raining

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With the struggling newspaper industry providing less and less unique
baseball coverage, MLB.com has done a great job beefing up its content
this season. However, every few days an article pops up as a reminder
that the reporting and analysis being done under the MLB.com roof isn’t
always the world’s most objective.

Juan Rincon is a 30-year-old reliever who’s been released by three
teams in the past 13 months and has a 5.41 ERA in 126 innings since the
beginning of 2007, yet based on the MLB.com article about his joining the Rockies’ bullpen you’d think that he … well, didn’t stink. Seriously, read some of this stuff:

While the makeup of the Rockies bullpen has continued to change
since early this year, the addition of righty Juan Rincon is expected
to make an impact. … Reliever Matt Daley has seen first hand the
presence Rincon can have on a team after a stint in Triple-A Colorado
Springs in late May to rehab his sprained left foot. “He brings a lot
of experience and knows exactly what he wants to do and how to get
hitters out,” said Daley.

Rincon’s experience in the American League could not come at a
better time for the Rockies, who are in the midst of a three-game
series with the Angels, then head to Oakland to play a three-game set.
“The experience that he brings, especially in Interleague series,
playing with the Twins for all those years brings a lot of information
that can be relayed back to us,” said Daley.

The words “experience” and “veteran” are used five times in a 300-word
article, writer Quinn Roberts suggests that Rincon “is expected to make
an impact,” and for some reason Matt Daley is willing to talk about the
washed-up reliever as if he were Mariano Rivera. My favorite Daleyism
is the notion that Rincon “knows exactly what he wants to do and how to
get hitters out.” Can you imagine how high his ERA would be without that knowledge?

It’s probably unrealistic and maybe even a little delusional to expect
a whole lot of objectivity and critical thinking from reporters who’re
being paid by MLB to write articles for a team’s official website, but
as a wise man once said: Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: