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Fox brings in Keith Hernandez, David Ortiz to replace Pete Rose on postseason broadcasts

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Pete Rose worked the postseason studio desk for Fox the past two years. In his first season he was awkward and, at times, the butt of jokes. He took a big step forward last year, providing solid analysis and offering some more self-awareness and humor all while demonstrating some nice chemistry with fellow ex-ballplayer Alex Rodriguez.

His tenure as a studio guy came to an end in August, however, as allegations arose that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with a minor back in the 1970s. Now Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated reports that Fox is replacing Rose with SNY analyst Keith Hernandez. David Ortiz will also provide postseason work. Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez and host Kevin Burkhardt will all return.

Hernandez is one of the best analysts in the game. His hallmark is a laid-back demeanor punctuated with sharp opinions which, unlike the work of a lot of his counterparts, make it clear that he does not care if the players he talks about get their feathers ruffled. He likewise refreshingly assumes that the fan knows a little bit rather than acting like we’ve never seen a baseball game. There is no over-explanation and talking to hear himself talk like you hear with so many other guys in his role. How that translates to the studio, as opposed to the booth during games, is an open question, but I assume he’ll be excellent in the role.

Ortiz is more of an unknown quantity as a broadcaster, of course. If he’s as frank as he could often be in interviews as a player it will be great (note: Fox, you want him on a five second delay for the F-bombs). If he plays the “all of these guys are great” game that a lot of green, former players do when they first start with TV work — or as Frank Thomas still does, all these years later — it’ll obviously be less compelling. We’ll see.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: