UPDATE: It’s official. The Nationals announced this morning that Johnson will return as manager in 2013 before shifting into a consultant role for 2014.
3:45 PM, Friday: Whatever drama there was surrounding Davey Johnson’s contract negotiations with the Nationals is over, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the two sides have agreed to a new deal and adds that 2013 will likely be the 70-year-old’s final season as a manager.
Johnson went more than a decade without managing before taking over the Nationals from Jim Riggleman in mid-2011 and has a 138-107 (.563) record in Washington that includes an NL-best 98 wins this year.
Johnson hinted that this season might have been his final one if the Nationals had won the World Series and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Johnson is expected to resume his role as a special advisor to the front office after retiring as manager. And do lots of fishing too, 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: