The White Sox have a bat bonfire

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Bats, they are sick. Bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him bonfire, rum. He will come:

[Mark]Kotsay, who is batting .221 and has hit into
several line-drive outs, had two of his bats burned in a small fire pit
in an effort to change his fortunes.

“That was (Mark) Teahen’s deal,” Kotsay said after Tuesday night’s game. “I walked out and saw what was
going on and obviously I wanted to find out what was going on, but I had
nothing to do with it.”

Kotsay, a 13-year veteran, never recalled a bat burning to change a player’s luck.

“There are quirky things like changing your uniform or your undershirt
or your shoes, but never burning bats,” said Kotsay, adding he has
changed his routines in the past.

Every time I write about how HGH doesn’t help anyone play baseball, people come back with “if it doesn’t work then why do ballplayers do it?!”  The answer is evident: ballplayers will do absolutely anything if they think it will help them. Sometimes that leads to bad choices. Most of the time, though, it leads to fun stuff like this. I wouldn’t want it any other way.  

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: