Japanese schoolgirl pitcher Eri Yoshida* — fresh off her tutoring session with The Knuckle Knuckle King — has signed with the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League.
Yoshida will be the first woman to play professional baseball in the U.S. since Ila Borders played in the Northern League and Western Baseball League in the late 90s. She will be the first professional baseball player to throw like a girl since Johnny Damon hit the showers after yesterday’s Tigers-Royals game.
*We are obligated to refer to Yoshida as “Japanese schoolgirl” because there are a lot of people who Google that term for some reason. And if you’re worried that such search engine hi-jinks are going to bring in too many perverts to this site, please know, approximately 83% of hardcore baseball fans already fall into the coveted 18-34 year-old pervert demographic.
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)