Because you always wanted to know how Ned Yost spends his offseason, Brett Frazee of the KC Star goes and visits the Royals manager at his offseason home in western Georgia.
Actually, you do want to know about this. You want to know that Yost lives in the same neighborhood as comedian Jeff Foxworthy and that the two of them go hunting all the time. And that when they do they name all the deer they kill, including one after Billy Butler, which should totally make Butler feel comfortable turning his back on Yost in the clubhouse. Oh, and then there’s the part how J.D. Drew, Kevin Millwood and Jon Lester all live in the same neighborhood and go hunting with them too. They even have hunting teams and compete against one another. The teams are called “The Killbillies” and “The Thump Monkeys.”
Ballplayers: they’re just like you and me!
Also: dibs on “The Killbillies” as my fantasy team name this year.
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: