UPDATE: Looks like today’s headline-creating comments might be Valentine’s last as a Red Sox employee. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that “upper management intends to remove Valentine as manager soon after the season ends.”
Bobby Valentine appeared on local radio in Boston this afternoon, which means Bobby Valentine said something that made headlines this afternoon. That’s just how it works at this point.
This time what happened is that WEEI host Glenn Ordway asked Valentine if his coaching staff has been loyal to him this season and the manager replied simply: “No.”
Ordway then asked if the coaching staff has tried to undermine him, to which Valentine said: “Yes.”
And then he went on to say:
I had to work through it all. Just another thing that’s part and parcel with the job. Work though it and try to make it better. That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional.
“That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional” coming from Bobby Valentine is maybe the funniest thing anyone has ever said.
Valentine later revealed that he’d like to make “some” changes to the coaching staff. If the Red Sox don’t fire him, of course.
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: