Well, it’s happening. For the first time since 2004 — I think we all know what happened that year — the Red Sox and Yankees will be facing off in a postseason series. Of course, prior to the implementation of the Wildcard Game it was impossible for divisional opponents to face off in the Division Series, but that is no longer the case. We’ll have plenty over the next couple of days on what to look for in this series as well as some history between these two teams, but for now we look at last night.
Really, it was never all that competitive, which as a baseball fan was a letdown after the thrilling Cubs-Rockies game on the NL side. The Yankees jumped all over the Athletics in the first inning, as Oakland opted for a bullpen game and started reliever Liam Hendriks. He struggled with command and gave up a two-run homer to Aaron Judge just two batters into the inning, and that was basically that. Luis Severino looked good, albeit with some control issues, for New York, and the Yankees got homers from Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. At the end of it all, they had an easy 7-2 victory.
The Orioles tear it all down
Baltimore is coming off one of the very worst seasons in major-league history, so it’s not a surprise to see that they are basically going to start things off from scratch in 2019. That means hiring a new manager and a new general manager. Buck Showalter was informed early on Wednesday that he will not be back next season in Baltimore’s dugout, which no one is surprised by. Showalter obviously has had plenty of success in the majors and in this tenure with Baltimore, but he just wasn’t the right fit anymore. He was reportedly offered another role with the organization, but declined it. If he wants another job, he’ll probably get an offer at some point.
In addition to Showalter’s exit, the head of Baltimore’s front office is also being let go. Former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette took over the Orioles in 2011, and while he oversaw some playoff runs his time has come to a close. Although the Orioles season was so bad that no one losing their job should really be a surprise, the dysfunction in Baltimore’s ownership makes one wonder how much of this was really Duquette’s fault. Either way, it’s someone else’s problem now. They’ll be looking outside the organization for a new GM.
Addison Russell suspended 40 games
The Cubs were eliminated from postseason action in Tuesday’s National League Wildcard Game, and they got more news on Wednesday. Addison Russell, the shortstop on whom MLB started an investigation in relation to domestic violence back in 2017, was suspended for 40 games. He’s accepted the suspension. His ex-wife wrote a post on social media back in 2017, but later deleted the post and was not ready to cooperate with the investigation. Recently, Melisa Reidy, his ex-wife, came forward again with a blog post detailing aspects of their marriage, and MLB placed Russell on administrative leave. Well, it seems they have concluded their investigation and they came down with the 40-game suspension for the shortstop. The ten games he missed at the end of this past season after being placed on leave will count towards that, so he’ll miss 30 games to start the 2019 season.