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Aaron Judge has MLB’s most popular jersey of 2019

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Major League Baseball just released its annual list of which players have the most popular jersey as measured by sales of Majestic-brand official on-field replica sales. The leader for the season: Aaron Judge. In fact, it’s his third consecutive season with the most popular player jersey.

Following Judge on the list is Bryce Harper, who I would’ve guessed would lead the list given that he was on a new team this year. Lots of Yankees fans already had Judge jerseys. No Phillies fan would’ve had a Harper jersey before March. Oh well.

In keeping with MLB’s emphasis on youth, the nine most popular player jerseys are all under the age of 30, with Cody Bellinger coming in third followed by, Javier Báez, Christian Yelich, Ronald Acuña Jr., Mookie Betts, José Altuve, and Mike Trout. Only old man Anthony Rizzo at number ten is over 30, and he just hit the big 3-0 in August.

The next ten:

11. Yadier Molina;
12. Clayton Kershaw;
13. Alex Bregman;
14. Pete Alonso
15. Freddie Freeman
16. Kris Bryant
17. Francisco Lindor
18. Paul Goldschmidt
19. Jacob deGrom
20. George Springer

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.