Sean Rodriguez rewarded for act of idiocy

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When it came down to it, the Rays cared more about postseason roster flexibility than any sort of moral stand.

Tampa Bay today called up infielder Sean Rodriguez from Triple-A Durham and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with the broken hand he sustained punching a locker after a Bulls game last week.

The reasoning for the move is obvious: the Rays can include Rodriguez on their preliminary postseason roster now and then replace him however they so choose should they reach the postseason.

But it’s a shame Rodriguez gets rewarded in the process. Since the move puts him back on Tampa Bay’s roster, he’ll resume collecting a major league salary that’s probably four or five times what he was earning in the minors and he’ll accrue service time while on the DL.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: