Would-be Yankee owner Steve Swindal now grooming prospects

3 Comments

Steve Swindal, originally the designated successor to George Steinbrenner, was at Yankees camp Wednesday, watching his daughter sing the national anthem and talking about his current enterprise; he runs a camp for prospects in the Dominican Republic.

Swindal, former husband to Jennifer Steinbrenner, was supposed to to occupy the role currently held by Hal Steinbrenner. However, he was arrested for DUI in 2007 and divorced by his wife a month later. The Yankees then bought out his ownership stake, and George chose Hal as his successor.

Swindal now runs a camp with Abel Guerra, the Yankees’ former VP of international operations. In return for a portion of any future signing bonus, he houses, feeds, schools and trains prospects in the Dominican Republic. Rafael Perez, MLB’s director of Dominican operations, calls it “the nicest academy of any agent.”

The business probably doesn’t have such a promising future after MLB cracked down in foreign spending budgets in the CBA agreed to over the winter, but Swindal plans to keep at it.

“Hopefully we’ll have a couple guys go for a million dollars this year. We’re certainly projecting that. With the new CBA, I don’t know how it’s going to affect it,” Swindal said. “I know the talent is always going to be there, and somehow the clubs are going to find a way to get the talent. The country is just so full of baseball heritage and it just starts from birth with young people. it’s getting stronger.”

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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: