Padres, new general manager Hoyer try to keep player development staff intact

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After hiring Jed Hoyer as their new general manager earlier this week the Padres fired vice president for scouting and player development Grady Fuson and reassigned scouting director Bill Gayton.
Those are two of the front office’s most important positions and it’s understandable that Hoyer would want to fill them with his own choices, but he stopped well short of a complete overhaul yesterday by offering 2010 contracts to all of the Padres’ amateur scouts, cross-checkers, and minor-league instructors, managers, and coaches.
Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune notes that those contracts cover a total of about 70 positions representing the backbone of the Padres’ player-development system. “I’m not sure everyone will return, some might take jobs elsewhere, but we’ve offered them all contracts for 2010,” Hoyer said.

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: