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Breaking: John Farrell out as Red Sox manager

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The Boston Red Sox just announced that John Farrell will not be back as manager for the 2018 season. A manager search is underway.

The club gave no official statement about the reasons for Farrell’s dismissal. The press release simply stated that he was out and recited his record as a manager and history as a coach. General Manager Dave Dombrowski is expected to speak to the media later this morning when he will, presumably, explain the club’s reasoning. For what it’s worth, Farrell was not technically fired. His contract ended with the season and had a 2018 team option that Boston is declining.

Farrell was 432-378 as Red Sox manager. He led the team to a World Series title in 2013. After two last place finishes in 2014 and 2015, Farrell’s teams won 93 games and the AL East in each of the past two seasons. They were swept out of the Division Series by the Indians last season and lost 3-1 to the Astros this year. Before that he was the Blue Jays manager, going 154-170 in two seasons before replacing Bobby Valentine at the helm in Boston.

His last act as Red Sox manager: getting ejected after arguing balls and strikes in Game 4 of the ALDS.

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: