In addition to announcing the Ankiel and Farnsworth trade, the Kansas City Royals just announced that they have given Ned Yost a two-year contract extension.
I like this move, really. Ned Yost is not John McGraw, but he’s what this team needs right now. Both as a manager — he has a track record of being good with up and coming players, and the Royals have many of them in their system (including Tim Collins . . . grrrr!) — and as a stabilizing force. The Royals have cycled through manager after manager the past few years, and it’s about time they stick with one for a while.
I have a hard time seeing any better candidates for the Royals job than Yost at this particular time in history. If they reach the brink of contention in a couple of years, sure, maybe they think about bringing in someone else. But for right now, no news is good news for the Royals. Stay the course, ya know?
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: