MLB Roundtable — What to watch during the season’s homestretch

With less than a full month of action left, we asked David Schoenfield and Bradford Doolittle of and Sarah Langs of ESPN Stats & Information to share their thoughts on what September will have on tap for fans as the regular season winds down. We asked them about who’s riding high in the standings and which teams have been — and might continue to be — surprising, which races demand your attention and which players are in the running for either some major hardware or historic notoriety before we turn the page on the 2018 campaign and gear up for the postseason.

What’s the first thing that jumps out to you in the standings right now?

Sarah Langs: The differences between the American League and the National League. There’s only one divisional race left in the AL, and it seems like we do finally know who the five teams will be given how the Seattle Mariners have fallen off. In the NL, it still feels like anybody’s guess. It wouldn’t surprise me if all three current leaders are atop their divisions at the end of the season, though it also wouldn’t surprise me if one or two fall short.

David Schoenfield: Well, the Baltimore Orioles are 54½ games out of first place! Aside from the that, it has to be the three-team NL West race, which has been a dogfight for two-plus months now. Nobody has held a lead of more than two games since July 1, when the Arizona Diamondbacks led by 2½ games. The teams play each other a bunch in September, so it’s going to be an exciting final month. May the baseball gods give us a three-way tie.

Bradford Doolittle: The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs both have some separation between themselves and every other team in their respective leagues. Obviously there are many roadblocks from here to a Fenway Park-Wrigley Field World Series, but it’s currently the most likely Fall Classic matchup. It’s the series we thought we’d get back in 2008.

Which pennant race are you most excited to watch over the final month?

Langs: Can I pick two? They’re related — the NL West and NL wild card. We have three teams within fewer than two games in the NL West, and five teams within fewer than four games in the NL wild card. Whether that’s because there are a bunch of mediocre teams that are middling or a bunch of good teams all on each other’s level remains to be seen, but it’ll make for a fun final few weeks. We could end up with three West teams in the playoffs again like last year. Or we could get one. And the Dodgers have their division-winning streak on the line — if they win it this year, that would be their sixth straight NL West title, the third-longest such streak since divisions came into existence in 1969.

Schoenfield: Oops, I just wrote about the NL West. The AL West race is just as fascinating given Oakland’s surprising surge since mid-June. The A’s were 34-36 on June 15, 11½ games behind the Astros, but have gone 49-20 since then. They may have not a roster full of All-Stars like the Astros, but Matt Chapman should be part of the MVP discussion, Khris Davis is hitting bombs and the bullpen has been lights out. The teams don’t play each other again, however, so this race will involve a lot of scoreboard watching.

Doolittle: The NL West race — right now — looks tantalizing. That L.A.-Arizona series over the weekend was a joy to watch — terse, tense, low-scoring, with dramatic finishes. What happens the next time an Archie Bradley situation occurs against the Dodgers and Matt Kemp is scheduled to hit? That’s not to ignore the Colorado Rockies, who on paper shouldn’t be in this mix but find themselves very much smack in the middle of it.

Which team are you most surprised is still in contention heading into the final weeks of the season?

Langs: The Rockies. Teams with negative run differentials do not usually make the playoffs, yet there they are, in contention in September. Only six teams in the expansion era (since 1961) have made the postseason with a negative run differential. Only one such team went on to win the World Series (the 1987 Twins). The last team with a negative run differential to make the playoffs was the 2007 Diamondbacks.

Schoenfield: Based on preseason predictions, probably the A’s, but remember that the Nationals were heavy favorites in the NL East. The Braves and Phillies don’t feel like surprises because they’ve been up there all season, but both teams have arrived a year early. The Braves, with their plus-97 run differential, feel like the bigger surprise to me because of how well they’ve played all season. They’re a good team with a very bright future.

Doolittle: The Tampa Bay Rays! I mean, their playoff odds are currently at 3.4 percent, so I’m stretching the definition of contention, but this team is 11 games over .500 and has been the AL’s hottest club for about 10 days now. The Rays are seven games behind Oakland in the loss column and the A’s have an easier finishing schedule. But Tampa Bay has quietly been one of this season’s great stories, and Blake Snell has come into his own as one of the AL’s top pitchers.

Which team’s place in the standings is most disappointing?

Langs: It’s hard to go with anyone other than the Nationals, given that they were a popular NL pennant pick entering the year, if not World Series winner. (Check the tape, I picked them to lose in the World Series this year.) This was not exactly the sendoff that they would have wanted to give Bryce Harper in his contract year. Lest we forget: In that same division, there’s a team that started 11-1 in the Mets. The lowest winning percentage by any team to start 11-1 or better through 12 games is .457 by the 2002 Indians. That Indians team is the only one to finish a season below .500 after starting 11-1 or better through 12 games. The Mets closed Monday at .453.

Schoenfield: Nationals. The story of the 2012-2018 Bryce Harper/Stephen Strasburg/Max Scherzer (he joined in 2012) Nationals will thus read this way: not a single playoff series victory.

Doolittle: I’m kind of sick of being disappointed in the Nationals, so I’ll go with the Phillies. It’s noble that they decided to go all-in this season with so many veteran acquisitions, but when you’re talking about a mostly young team having its first breakthrough, adding so many declining players can sap the dynamism out of a pennant chase. That’s especially true when you have a team with a solid pitching staff that gets continually kneecapped by crappy defense. Why would you make that team less athletic?

Which individual award or stat race are you most excited to watch over the final month?

Langs: Whether J.D. Martinez can win the Triple Crown. He’s close, though he could be held off by his own teammate in Mookie Betts or by A’s slugger Khris Davis. There have been four instances of a player winning the Triple Crown not just by leading his league in the three categories, but by leading all of baseball. Those are Rogers Hornsby in 1925, Lou Gehrig in 1934, Ted Williams in 1942 and Mickey Mantle in 1956. If Martinez wins it, he likely joins that list.

Schoenfield: The AL MVP race is one of the best in a long time because of the quality of the seasons involved, plus it’s a fun debate because of the different types of seasons involved from the top candidates. There is the all-around brilliance of Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Mike Trout; the Triple Crown chase from J.D. Martinez; the defensive brilliance and second-half batting line from Matt Chapman; the clutch hitting of Alex Bregman. Right now, a first-place vote for any of those seven players wouldn’t look ridiculous.

Doolittle: The only stat race that grabs me is J.D. Martinez’s run at a Triple Crown. I don’t care if two of the three categories are outmoded and I certainly wouldn’t give him the MVP award for winning it, but there’s still something special about the achievement. Beyond that, all of the award races are great this year. None of them are settled, which means every highlight-reel moment the candidates produce from here on out will have outsized repercussions.

How many Triple Crown categories will J.D. Martinez win?

Langs: I’ll be an optimist (for once), and say all three.

Schoenfield: I say RBIs, as he ends up second to Mookie in the batting race and one home run behind Khris Davis (in part, because he’ll probably sit a few games down the stretch to rest up for the postseason).

Doolittle: One. He won’t get Khris Davis in homers, or Betts in average.

What’s one under-the-radar thing you’ll be following the rest of the season?

Langs: The Indians. Somehow, a team that could realistically win the World Series is managing to fly under the radar. They’ve faced mediocre to bad competition within their division, but they are a solid team and have been hitting well all year. After a 5.28 bullpen ERA in the first half — after poor performances and injuries — they’ve been much better at the end of games in the second half. And who doesn’t want to keep an eye on Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor playing every day? Plus, getting the chance to see if Josh Donaldson can make an impact during the postseason.

Schoenfield: Hmm … well, Mark Reynolds is the only player in MLB history to hit at least 30 home runs while batting under .200 (32 with the Diamondbacks in 2010 while batting .198). Joey Gallo already has 34 home runs and is hitting .207. With a late slump, he could reach 40 home runs and finish under .200 while striking out more than 200 times. I’m not saying this is a good thing.

Doolittle: The Rangers experimented with an “opener” on Monday. The A’s did it on Saturday. The Twins have talked about it. I’m wondering if by the end of the season, we’ll be at the point where a few teams set their offseason plans around employing this strategy on a semi-regular basis in 2019. I’m not sure what that will look like, but clearly the Rays’ scheme has caught the attention of teams around baseball.

Rick Pitino writes in new book ‘My coaching career is possibly finished’

Almost a year after the FBI investigation into college basketball led to his termination at Louisville, Rick Pitino thinks it’s unlikely he will return to coaching at the college level.

In a book released Tuesday entitled “Pitino: My Story,” co-written with Seth Kaufman, Pitino writes that “my coaching career is possibly finished.”

When asked to expand by ESPN in a wide-ranging interview prior to the book’s release, Pitino admitted he doesn’t believe he will get a coaching job again.

“There was one job this past year, that I really did want. They called the NCAA and the NCAA said, ‘We’re handcuffed. The FBI will not allow us to investigate, we can’t give you a yes or no on Rick Pitino because we’re not allowed to investigate,'” Pitino said. “I’m not really thinking about coaching again in the future because I’m not in control of that. I feel it’s over for me.”

While also a memoir of his 40-year coaching career, Pitino focused much of the book on three key aspects of the past few years: the 2015 sex scandal, the 2017 FBI investigation into shoe company influence in college basketball, and his eventual termination from Louisville.

He took responsibility for hiring former staffer Andre McGee and assistant Jordan Fair, writing “that the buck stops with me,” but also laid much of the blame at the feet of the Southern District of New York, the FBI investigators and the Louisville Board of Trustees.

As Pitino, 65, has done since Katina Powell’s book in the fall of 2015, he denied any knowledge of the stripper parties organized by McGee.

“My inquisitors had no evidence I knew about Andre McGee’s stripper events because none existed,” Pitino wrote. “As I just explained, I had no clue. No one they interviewed said I was complicit in any way. Additionally, they had no evidence that any other employee in my program knew about Andre’s antics either. There are probably multiple reasons for that — starting with the fact Andre knew I would have fired him the moment I learned of a single compliance infraction and ending with the fact that his ‘events’ reportedly involved potentially criminal acts like prostitution and underage sex.”

He added that Louisville should have defended itself against the NCAA more aggressively and not self-imposed sanctions early in the process. Pitino also called the NCAA’s decision to vacate Louisville’s 2013 NCAA championship as a result of the stripper scandal “ridiculous.”

Last September, the FBI arrested 10 people connected to college basketball, including assistant coaches, financial advisers, runners and shoe company executives. No one from Louisville was arrested, but the Cardinals were linked to the investigation with allegations that Adidas paid $100,000 to the family of five-star prospect Brian Bowen to steer him to Louisville. Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on unpaid administrative leave two days later and fired last October.

In “My Story,” Pitino continued to deny any involvement or knowledge of any payment.

“I have never discussed illegal recruiting schemes with Adidas or anyone else, ever,” he wrote. “So the reason there’s no hard evidence about me plotting to violate recruiting laws is that there is none. Let me say for the thousandth time: in more than thirty years as a college head coach, I have never given any player or their family members a single inducement to play for me. Nor have I ever plotted or suggested doing anything like this.”

Pitino told ESPN that he is most upset about the FBI making his name easily identifiable in the documents and bringing him into the investigation based on the word of someone else. In the book, he claimed a United States Attorney told his legal team that he was just “collateral damage.”

Pitino wrote that his termination from Louisville was not solely due to the two major scandals in his final few years in charge of the Cardinals, telling his staff in June 2017 that the new Board of Trustees was “out to get me.”

“There is evidence to suggest my removal as coach of the Cardinals was influenced by the highest levels of the state government,” he wrote, pointing to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Papa John’s founder John Schnatter among the main culprits.

“[Athletic director Tom Jurich and I] were both effectively fired with no investigation, no trial, no nothing … the DOJ complaints didn’t accuse me of a damn thing and didn’t even allude to Tom.”

Pitino also expressed his thoughts on shoe company involvement in college basketball and the future of the sport.

While he said he likes AAU basketball and the way it gives young basketball players an organized opportunity to play, he said the sneaker money has become a problem.

“AAU teams … have become a plague for college recruiters,” he wrote. “They are all funded with an unspoken, unofficial goal in mind: Funnel the players to the right college and get rewarded. … I believe we are overdue when it comes to figuring out a way to remove sneaker companies’ undue influence at the grassroots level.”

Pitino said he agrees with several things that Condoleezza Rice’s Commission on College Basketball recommended, but feels players should be able to profit from their likenesses via commercials or autograph signings. If that does not change, Pitino said he is concerned that the elimination of the one-and-done rule will take the high-end talent from college basketball.

“I am extremely concerned about the future of college basketball,” he wrote.

Former Phillie Ryan Howard announces retirement

Former Philadelphia Phillies star Ryan Howard announced his retirement from baseball in a letter posted Tuesday on The Players’ Tribune website.

Howard, 38, has not played in the majors since 2016 and has been a free agent since November. The former National League MVP signed minor league deals with the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies last season, but his entire major league career was spent with the Phillies.

In the Players’ Tribune piece titled, “Thank You, Philly,” Howard reminisced about some of his most memorable moments during his 13 seasons with the Phillies. The three-time All-Star noted “some interesting bookends” in his career, which he called “a wild ride.”

“I’m glad that I got to stay on it for as long as I did,” Howard wrote. “Which I guess has really also kind of become my overall perspective on things: How, when it’s come to these last 14 years of mine — nothing has ever been easy for long, and nothing has ever been perfect for long.

“But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Howard was a career .258 hitter with 382 home runs and 1,194 RBIs in his 13 seasons with the Phillies. He twice led the majors in homers and led the majors in RBIs three times during a dominant six-year stretch from 2006 to 2011, when he averaged 44 homers and 133 RBIs per season.

Howard burst into the majors as a rookie in 2005, when he had 22 home runs and 63 RBIs in just 88 games en route to being named the NL Rookie of the Year. He was voted MVP the following season, when he led the majors with 58 homers and 149 RBIs.

Howard again led the majors in homers (48) and RBIs (146) in 2008, while helping the Phillies win their first World Series title since 1980.

But his career took a downturn in 2011 when he suffered a torn Achilles on the final play of the NLDS. The next five years of his career were plagued by knee, foot and Achilles injuries.

How the Pittsurgh Steelers get Le’Veon Bell game-ready in five days – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog

PITTSBURGH — Le’Veon Bell’s extended absence affects the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ locker room, a general manager who’s disappointed and the fantasy football drafter who selected him No. 1 overall.

So, let’s take center Maurkice Pouncey at his word that Bell will show up Wednesday. That gives him three practices and a Saturday walk-through to prepare for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, after nearly eight months away.

How will it all shake out Sunday in FirstEnergy Stadium?

Thanks to thoughts from Steelers players, Bell’s routine and the presence of James Conner, let’s map this out.

First, the basics

Bell has to pass a physical, then sign his franchise tender. Once he checks those two boxes, he can join practice.

The Steelers will assess his football condition, then slowly work him back into the offense. Wednesday is the Steelers’ busiest day of the week for game-planning and installation. The team would likely work overtime with Bell in this area to catch him up.

The Steelers would need Bell entrenched in the offense by Friday’s practice to feel good about him playing a significant role. But, c’mon. This is an All-Pro. He’s still No. 1 on the depth chart. That shouldn’t be an issue if his health is good.

The offensive line wants to help Bell

Last year, Bell needed a few games to get his legs under him. That’s no secret. He averaged 3.46 yards per carry in Weeks 1-3. But the offense as a whole was sluggish in September, averaging 304 yards per game over those first three weeks. That would have ranked 28th league-wide over the full 2017 season.

“We can’t blame him for that,” Pouncey said of Bell’s statistical dip early. “I think the whole offense started a little slow. To point out one thing and one person just because they aren’t here is totally wrong.”

Bell’s patient running style requires him to feel out games based on what the defense is doing. That’s on him. Giving Bell rushing-lane options is not.

The offensive line is prepared to do that.

“Maybe it’s us,” right tackle Marcus Gilbert said. “Maybe we need to do a little bit better job blocking, creating holes, making sure he doesn’t get off to a slow start. He came in great physical shape last year.”

Why Bell will get the ball

A willing playcaller can get a tailback going in a hurry, and first-year Steelers coordinator Randy Fichtner sounds like he has no problem giving the ball to Bell early and often.

Asked whether he could conceivably scale Bell back Week 1, Fichtner said, “That’s a hard question because that’s Le’Veon Bell. You’d like to think he’ll be in good shape, but we have to evaluate that, conditioning, health, things like that. I think, just using him in the best way to help us win early will be the most important thing. There are things he can do that, quite frankly, most people can’t do that play his position. That’s not anything against the running backs … they’ve done a heckuva job.”

Though Fichtner “no doubt” has a contingency plan in case Bell isn’t ready — James Conner as the top back — he isn’t going to overthink it. He’s got a Pro Bowl weapon and intends to use it. The offense isn’t changing under Fichtner, and Roethlisberger wants to run more no-huddle. Bell is a master at getting Roethlisberger an extra 60 yards by combing pockets of open space.

Why Bell won’t

Looming large is Conner, who could get a healthy workload in Cleveland regardless of what Bell does.

Teammates raved about Conner’s growth. In fact, guard Ramon Foster wouldn’t say Bell’s name when fielding questions about his absence, yet brought up Conner unprompted.

“I trust Conner,” Foster said. “He knows what he’s doing. … He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and I think he’ll get the job done. … We know what the other guy has. But Conner has busted his ass. … When a person is ready, he’s ready. And he’s ready.”

Some openly wondered whether Bell’s 13-carry, 32-yard performance in Cleveland last year was a tactful scale-back for him after he missed camp. More likely, it was Tomlin easing Bell into action on a short turnaround. If that’s in the plans again, Conner’s growth will make it an easier call.

Bell’s altered routine

Bell tries to find an edge each offseason, and he told ESPN in June his goal was to protect his joints and alter his diet.

He took up boxing as a way to avoid cutting and running before transitioning to football activities. He switched to a vegan diet late in 2017, saying he felt better and lighter after dropping meat. He decided to try it after having dinner with a friend, downing peanuts and beans for protein snacks.

“I always thought I ate healthy but there are still certain things that weren’t,” Bell said. “I think it’s helped me a lot. I’ve been feeling a lot better since I did it.”

Will this translate to the field? It might not help with change of direction, but Bell believes he’ll be coming into the year fresh.

2018 US Open — Defending champ Sloane Stephens loses in quarterfinals

NEW YORK — First, there were four break points squandered, along with an early chance for the lead.

Next, three more wasted.

Pretty soon, Sloane Stephens‘ run at a US Open repeat was lost too.

The defending champion was eliminated Tuesday, beaten by Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

“I didn’t play the big points well, and you don’t win matches when you don’t take your opportunities,” Stephens said.

Stephens beat Sevastova in the same round last year en route to her first Grand Slam title, but she missed numerous chances to grab an early lead in the rematch and could never get back into the match.

Sevastova, the No. 19 seed from Latvia, will play either Serena Williams or 2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova in her first Grand Slam semifinal.

That’s further than it ever appeared Sevastova would get in tennis when she retired in May 2013, her body battered by muscular and back-related injuries. She returned nearly two years later and finally broke through on her third straight appearance in the US Open quarterfinals.

“It was an amazing journey, this three, four years,” Sevastova said.

Three-quarters of Arthur Ashe Stadium was in the sun on another day of more than 90-degree temperatures in New York, and Stephens seemed to lack some of her usual sideline-to-sideline court coverage in the heat.

Stephens said she had been battling a cold, but her biggest problem Tuesday might have been her serve. The No. 3 seed was broken five times in the 84-minute match.

“Mentally, physically, I just wasn’t connecting,” Stephens said. “It just was a really tough day. The heat doesn’t make it any more fun.”

Stephens, one of the best defenders in the game, squandered all seven break-point chances in the first set, missing out a chance for early momentum during a lengthy third game of the match. She couldn’t convert four chances to break in that game that lasted 18 points, and Sevastova then quickly broke her for a 3-1 lead.

Stephens then couldn’t convert three more chances in the next game, and never got another in the first set.

Her frustration became apparent, whether she was gesturing to her coach, staring in annoyance at deep balls that bounced off the baseline, or just screaming out in general.

“I’m trying!” she responded to a plea from the crowd to pick it up in the second set.

She did eventually get close, breaking Sevastova at love to cut it to 4-3 in the second set. But Sevastova broke right back during another lengthy game, this one lasting 14 points, and soon it was over — but not before Stephens made a pretty good run at becoming the first repeat champion since Williams won three in a row from 2012-14.

“So the fact that I made it to the quarterfinals and played some really good matches and I just competed as hard as I could, I mean, a lot to be proud of,” Stephens said. “And obviously defending a title is very hard, very difficult.”

After an all-American final four last year, Williams could still give the U.S. at least one semifinalist here. Pliskova is the last player to beat her in Flushing Meadows, a victory in the 2016 semifinals before Williams missed the tournament last year, when she gave birth to her daughter.

LSU Tigers, Virginia Tech Hokies make big jumps in AP Top 25

No. 11 LSU and No. 12 Virginia Tech made the biggest jumps in the first Associated Press college football poll of the regular season, while No. 4 Ohio State leapfrogged No. 5 Wisconsin after a week in which most of the top teams were unchallenged.

Alabama remained No. 1 with a blowout of Louisville, and No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Georgia held their spots. The Crimson Tide received 48 first-place votes in the media poll released Tuesday. Clemson had 12, and Wisconsin had one. Ohio State is just four points ahead of the Badgers and only nine points ahead of No. 6 Oklahoma.

LSU, which was ranked No. 25 in the preseason, moved up 14 spots after beating Miami 33-17 in one of four games that matched ranked teams. The Hurricanes dropped from No. 8 to No. 22. Virginia Tech won 24-3 at Florida State and moved up eight spots.

The Seminoles fell out of the rankings after being 19th. Texas, which was No. 23 in the preseason poll, didn’t receive any votes in the latest poll.

Pittsburgh Steelers confident in James Conner amid Le’Veon Bell’s absence

PITTSBURGH — Mike Tomlin needed one word to describe why he feels better about Le’Veon Bell‘s absence this year compared to last.

“James,” the Steelers coach said Tuesday.

Aaron Judge’s Growing Influence in Baseball

Baseball is certainly one of the most popular sports in the USA. Its existence has seen the rise of great baseball stars from the likes of Beth Ruth to Alex Rodriguez. Recently, Aaron Judge, a new and talented player, has come out of the shadows and is redefining things in Baseball with his outstanding home runs. Whenever he shows up fans are looking forward to seeing how he will play. So far, he has garnered the support of so many sports fans who are all waiting for the American League in 2018.

Aaron Judge stands at six feet seven and weighs 285 pounds. Clearly, he has a body which is well suited for the reflexes and movements involved in sports. However, it is his skill that has enabled him to hit 52 home runs. No wonder he received the Rookie Award of the year in 2017. With the success he has had thus far in this sport, he is soon on his way to becoming the next Baseball legend in the Bronx.

He has also set the record for having the longest foot home run in the history of American Baseball at 485 feet. His swing, which has left many people dumbstruck, has always been a great thing to see. In addition to the first record, he clocked in an impressive blast moving at a speed of 119mph. There aren’t a lot of people who have even come close to such numbers.  

Aaron Judge is envied by many people who also play sports. Yankees’ left fielder Brett Gardener has confessed that he often fees jealous of Aaron Judge. Gardener has a smaller physique compared to Aaron Judge. He further admits that he would like to experience the feeling of being able to hit a ball in a manner that is similar to how Judge does it. 

This is just but an example of the praise Judge has received from not only baseball players but also people who love sports. Matt Holiday, previously a hitter for Yankees, has also spoken highly of Judge. He stated that despite having been teammates with renowned baseball players such as Albert Pujols, he has never seen such talent. He said that Aaron Judge is the most outstanding baseball player of this generation.  

Despite all the praise that is coming his way, 25-year-old Judge has remained humble. In fact, he said that he is still pushing himself so that he can perform better than what he has achieved already. He stated that the challenges that he has experienced thus far have kept him motivated to keep up. For instance, up to last year, he had not made it to where he wanted to be.  

It is common for people who are in sports to suffer from occasional injuries. Aaron suffered an injury which made him take time off for the months of July and August. The shoulder injury that he had was one that needed the intervention of surgery. Yet still, he did not shut himself from the world. He has continued to interact with people from the media and other locals. People have often spotted him and requested for his autograph. He gladly signs for them as he believes in showing appreciation to his fans. This points out how charismatic he is.  

Aaron Judge has explained that during his break, he was able to go through the things that happened last year. He intends to use that as a learning mechanism so that he can make better decisions this year. The Yankees team has paired Aaron Judge with Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton also has an impressive Baseball resume in sports. At six feet six and 265 pounds, Stanton won the National League’s title as the most valuable player of 2017.  

Baseball fans have been greatly pleased with this combination. This can be seen by their increased ticket sales. In addition, sports people are holding out hope on this combination to be able to help the Yankees to score 1,000 runs. This would be exciting as it would be the first time that it would have happened ever since 1936. People are eagerly hoping that this combination would be able to make it to the World Series. In true Aaron Judge fashion, he also stated that a win would be a collective effort that can be achieved through the great team that they have.