The fires raging across multiple California counties have already killed at least eleven people and have destroyed thousands of homes, businesses and vehicles. In light of that the manner in which it has impacted famous, wealthy athletes is not of paramount importance, but this story in the San Francisco Chronicle does give a sense of the speed with which these fires are moving and how tenuous anyone’s sense of safety can be as they continue to burn.
Susan Slusser reports how ex-ballplayers Brett Saberhagen, Barry Bonds and Eric Gagne and Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen have had to evacuate homes and hotels in which they were staying on Sunday and into Monday morning. It’s a harrowing scene:
Saberhagen and the Jansens raced to the car, and hopped on Highway 12, at one point passing a car that was engulfed in flames. They drove all the way to San Martin in southern Santa Clara County to spend the night. Hall of Fame hockey goalie Grant Fuhr and his wife weren’t able to find rides, Saberhagen said, and they had had to flag down a stranger, who drove them to San Francisco — a journey that took six hours.
According to Saberhagen and other attendees, UFC fighter Henry Cejudo didn’t evacuate from the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa and broke his ankle jumping from a second-story balcony.
Scary stuff. Here’s hoping the death toll doesn’t climb higher.
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: