You’ll recall Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor who used to sing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium. You’ll also recall that Tynan ran into some trouble back in October, getting sacked from his Yankees gig as the result of some comments he made to a realtor about Jews looking at apartments in his building. Will Leitch of New York Magazine caught up with Tynan recently and has the singer’s first public comments since the incident. It’s been a rough time for him.
I suppose my sympathy for the guy is dependent on whether his comments at the time are, as he claims, the result of a misunderstanding or a misguided attempt at a joke or, as was reported at the time, constituted some sort of racial slur.
Limited sympathy at best, of course, because as even Tynan said at the time, he was being stupid. And though we may not particularly like the overly-sensitive world in which we live, the fact is that in this day and age, even casual remarks by barely public figures can turn into public relations issues if it even smells like it touches on race.
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)