Alfredo Aceves clashed constantly with manager Bobby Valentine last season, but now Valentine has been replaced by John Farrell and … Aceves is still being a pain in the ass at Red Sox camp:
Aceves made a mockery of John Farrell’s camp on Sunday with his lobbing of the ball into home plate during batting practice. It was the first “incident” from a player in the Farrell era, and it comes as no surprise that Aceves was the culprit. …
Aceves was “talked to” by both Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves and eventually started throwing at normal speed, the issue was “addressed” according to Farrell.
Aceves went 2-10 with a 5.36 ERA in 84 innings last season, so it’s not as if the Red Sox are merely putting up with his nonsense because he’s such an amazing player. They’re also paying him $2.65 million after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal, so the Red Sox knew what they were getting back into when they chose not to trade or non-tender Aceves.
With that said: Ugh.
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: