It’s probably not quite as depressing to fans as Kansas City picking a guy with a 5.60 career ERA as the Opening Day starter, but it might be close.
Pittsburgh announced that Kevin Correia will get the Opening Day assignment after going 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA for the Padres last year, which is some remarkably awful pitching for a guy who made 15 of 28 appearances in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Correia has been better in past years, but not by much. He’s a 30-year-old with a 4.57 ERA in 741 career innings. Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, and James McDonald will follow Correia in the rotation and, if healthy, I’d bet on McDonald finishing the season as the Pirates’ best starter.
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)