At this point I’ve completely lost track of the number of calf injuries that have occurred in baseball this season. It’s like the shark attacks in the summer of 2001. They probably always happened, but we’re all of a sudden hearing of them every single day.
The latest victim: Johnny Damon, who left in the fourth inning of this afternoon’s Tigers-Twins game with what’s being described as “calf spasms.” No word on whether this is an injury or if he just needs more potassium or whatever. Updates — breathless updates, befitting the epidemic nature of these calf attacks — as they become available.
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)