In one of the oddest stories you’ll read this spring, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes that Braves outfielder Nate McLouth changed his number to 24 this offseason because of a certain television program that uses the same digits.
“The only reason that I took 24,” McLouth said Saturday, “is because it’s my favorite TV show and Lost isn’t a number.”
Derek Lowe was also hoping to land the number this winter, but it probably had nothing to do with Jack Bauer. Or even Kim Bauer
Seriously, someone get us a link to an Opening Day countdown pronto.
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)