Why? young players and the media, mostly:
“The highs are enjoyable but you can’t enjoy them for long. The
disappointments are painful and you carry them for much longer. It’s
part of the competition. What’s made the job not as much fun is the
combination of distractions of players due to money and security … and
the proliferation of media.”
For a guy who has had as much success as he has had, and who has had about as little really critical press as anyone in his position can be expected to have — quick — when was the last time he was truly on the hot seat for anything? — La Russa sure has a thin skin. I suppose it’s just temperamental at some point. All I know for sure is that you never hear Joe Torre and Bobby Cox grousing about that kind of stuff.
Is there any doubt that this is Tony’s last year?
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: