Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher had surgery Thursday to remove a cancerous nodule from his thyroid gland and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com.
In fact, Butcher was already back at work Sunday for the final team meetings before pitchers and catchers arrive at spring training, albeit while wearing a neck brace.
Butcher was examined by a doctor after complaining of neck pain and a specialist recommended surgery when a biopsy showed the cancerous growth. As a player Butcher spent parts of four seasons with the Angels as a reliever in the 1990s and the 45-year-old took over as the team’s pitching coach following the 2006 season when Bud Black left to become the Padres’ manager.
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)