I’d file this under “pipe dream” but Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has a column up looking at Kevin Johnson — former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento mayor — as a potential successor to Bud Selig.
I say it’s a pipe dream because, as Shaikin seems to agree, baseball owners are not the sort to go for outsiders. Which is partially what made Selig so successful. He’s always had support from the owners, partially because he’s a good politician and consensus builder, but also because he was given the slack to perfect that approach given that he was one of the owners and everyone knew him.
Still: an interesting thought experiment as we approach the Post-Selig Era. And, on its own merits, a good look at Kevin Johnson and all he’s been able to accomplish in Sacramento.
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: