Via Deadspin, here’s a report of WBC espionage from Taiwan:
According to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the South Korean governing body of pro baseball, four Taiwanese advance scouts posed as umpire trainees to gain entrance to a practice game at Dou Liou Stadium between the South Korean national team and a South Korea pro club, the NC Dinos.
They basically just showed up dressed as umpires, got into the park and started timing pitchers and things with the idea of giving Taiwan an edge in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Taiwan apologized and denied any official involvement, leaving their spies out in the cold. No word if the cyanide capsules in the spies molars malfunctioned or if the spies simply lost their nerve.
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: