Not surprisingly, Cliff Lee’s agent said yesterday that the free agent left-hander will likely take his sweet time fielding offers before deciding on a long-term home.
Here’s what Darek Braunecker told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:
Historically, these deals take some time. We don’t handicap the timing of this stuff, but we don’t anticipate this happening too quickly. There aren’t a whole lot of market factors that are necessarily going to influence Cliff’s negotiations. There’s not anybody else out there that’s going to have any bearing on what we do with Cliff, at least from our perspective.
Our conversations have been what we anticipated to this point; it’s early-stage dialogue with a number of interested parties. We’re truly at the beginning stages here. When this deal gets done is anybody’s guess.
Feinsand speculates that Lee is unlikely to sign before the winter meetings, which begin December 6.
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)