A flock of birds ended a baseball game in Japan

Rakuten Eagles
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There have been a lot of non-weather-related things that have disrupted baseball games in the past. Faulty lighting. Unruly fans. Tragedies both great and minor. But I can’t recall a flock of birds ever causing a game to end. It happened in Japan last night, however.

The Kyodo News Service reports that a flock of birds descended upon Kobo Park Miyagi in Sendai, where the Rakuten Eagles and Seibu Lions were playing a game. Based on the video below the flock didn’t seem too large, but they were definitely working as a team to disrupt things. They particularly seemed to like, or hate, the middle infielders.

The birds stayed until stadium officials turned all the lights off. That ended up prolonging a game already delayed by rain, which in turn led to it being suspended after eight innings due to curfew.

In other news, Kobo Park Miyagi reminds me a lot of the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati:

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.