Yesterday we heard that, in the event that the Tigers came calling about Jimmy Rollins, the veteran shortstop would not waive his 10-5 rights in order to make a deal happen. Buster Olney reports this morning that this could be more than a hypothetical situation:
Whether this is about general team construction or whether this is about Rollins’ recent dustup with Ryne Sandberg is unclear. But either way it spells trouble. You don’t want to start the season with difficult-to-negotiate issues like the desire to trade a possibly untradable veteran. It creates problems for the players and managers in that they’ll be asked about it all the time. It bums fans out because it sends the signal, before Opening Day even starts, that the team itself is not happy with its construction.
Just not the way the Phillies want to be heading into the season.
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: