Partying like 1999: Get ready for a Royals-Pirates World Series

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David Schoenfield of ESPN.com just tweeted this note and I had to share it:

First time both the Pirates and Royals have been over .500 on the same day 30 games into a season since May 16, 1999.

How long ago was that?

Well, that day the Pirates were playing the Expos and Vladimir Guerrero was Montreal’s cleanup hitter, Javier Vazquez was the starting pitcher, and Ted Lilly relieved him. Oh, and Jason Kendall was hitting fifth for Pittsburgh, which probably sounds impossible to anyone who only remembers the current version.

Also, the Royals’ cleanup hitter was Jeff King, who retired that season, and their outfield was Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and Jermaine Dye. They were playing a Mariners team that had Alex Rodriguez batting second with Ken Griffey Jr. hitting third and Seattle’s starting pitcher that day was a 36-year-old Jamie Moyer.

Oh, and I was a sophomore in high school who’d just passed his driver’s license test and had big plans for a 1988 Chevy Corsica.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.