I’ve seen a hell of a lot of jaw-dropping tweets today, but this one from the St. Louis Cardinals takes the cake:
La Russa has been selected by commish Bud Selig to serve on a panel to discuss ways to improve the game.
Biggest problem facing the game today? They’re too long. Biggest reason they’re too long? Too many pitching changes. Reason there are so many pitching changes? Tony La Russa invented the concept of hyper-spastic bullpen specialization back in the late 80s, and now no manager thinks he can break spring training with a pen under 13 men strong and no manager can get through a seventh inning without using five if them.
Physician, heal thyself.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)