A Johnny Damon signing would be one of the most Orioles moves in recent years. And now Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles “appear to have some interest” in him.
Not that signing Damon would be a bad thing. He hit .261/.326/.418 with 16 homers and 19 steals last year and was actually hampered by his home park. Moving to Baltimore would mean that he wouldn’t get to face Orioles pitching anymore, but Camden Yards would be more friendly to him. And unlike the other DH candidates out there he can still play some left field, albeit not well.
Either way, Damon’s days of helping contenders are likely over. At this point his raison d’être is to try to get as close to 3,000 hits as he can, thereby making him the topic of one of the more frustrating Hall of Fame debates ever. Which should be fun.
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: