Big trouble ahead if the Rangers deal isn't done in May

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Evan Grant reports that if the Rangers sale isn’t done by June, the team will have to take more money from Major League Baseball to make ends meet.

Last year baseball extended the team a $25 million line of credit. They used $16 million of it in 2009 to meet payroll obligations. Grant reports that both payroll and revenue are basically flat compared to last year, which suggests that baseball will have to go beyond that original $25 million. As Grant notes, since baseball is a creditor which expects its money back, the more money it gives to the team the less there is available for the troublesome, sale-blocking creditors, which makes closing the deal even harder. See, cycle, vicious.

What’s worse is that if we get to June and the team is still on the dole, they will be unable to pay real bonuses to their draft picks and, instead, will be required to pay MLB-imposed slot prices, which could seriously hinder the Rangers’ ability to, you know, get good players.

There have been a lot of self-imposed deadlines in this transaction, none of which have done much to spur real action by the parties. The end of May, however, brings with it serious consequences if the deal is not yet done. It would seem, then, that everyone had best get busy.

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: