Tony La Russa to "improve the game"

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I’ve seen a hell of a lot of jaw-dropping tweets today, but this one from the St. Louis Cardinals takes the cake:

La Russa has been selected by commish Bud Selig to serve on a panel to discuss ways to improve the game.

Biggest problem facing the game today?  They’re too long. Biggest reason they’re too long?  Too many pitching changes.  Reason there are so many pitching changes? Tony La Russa invented the concept of hyper-spastic bullpen specialization back in the late 80s, and now no manager thinks he can break spring training with a pen under 13 men strong and no manager can get through a seventh inning without using five if them.

Physician, heal thyself.

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: