The Blue Jays may have lost Roy Halladay, but at least they found someone with a better name to fill the roster slot: Lance Broadway! Oh wait. It’s a minor league deal, so it doesn’t even fill the roster slot. Still a cool name, though! Even if he’s a really poor pitcher who was just non-tendered by the Mets. The pitching-barren New York Mets.
In other Blue Jays news, Toronto has finalized the deal with catcher John Buck. It’s for one year and $2 million. This gives Toronto a plethora of catchers, given that they already have Ramon Castro and Raul Chavez in the fold. Could have been worse, I suppose. They could have given Kendall or Pudge a couple of years.
And in all seriousness, between the three of those guys, there’s some fairly decent bang for the buck. Assembling spare parts on the relative cheap and for limited duration like that is a good move for a team in the Blue Jays’ position. Good for them for doing right here, even if hardly anyone will really notice it.
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)