Duff McKagan

Marginal celebrities are not concerned about the Red Sox


I think everyone who works in baseball is tired of talking about whether the Red Sox will turn it around.  So it’s nice that some people from the larger world of entertainment are picking up the slack.

First comes a guy who I wouldn’t have guessed would have an ESPN column someday, former Guns ‘N Roses bassist Duff McKagan:

But before any of us gets a little too far ahead of ourselves, let’s just remember that we are only 10 games into the season. Before we state that the Cleveland Indians are going all of the way, or that the Red Sox are already out of it, let us remember how small of a fraction this first 10 games is to the rest of the season.

Actually, McKagan’s column is a lot better than what a lot of full-time sports columnists pass off. Which is the dirty little secret of sports writing, even if it shouldn’t be a secret: all you really need is to (a) know sports; and (b) be able to write.  There aren’t some other magical requirements. And in no case do having other such magical requirements make up for not knowing sports and not knowing how to write. So if you want to be a sports writer, just get in the ring. It’s so easy!

More troubling are the comments of one Charlie Sheen. Who has a long and established track record of knowing baseball, but who has become something less than a reliable analyst on a host of matters in recent months.  What say you about the Bosox, Charlie?

“I’d tell everybody to shut up, that they’ll bounce back. It’s a long season and there’s a ton of talent there and a really bitchin’ hitter’s park they play in. Relax.”

In other words, the Red Sox are totally screwed.

Now, I’m off to see what Kirk Cameron and Mr. T. have to say about John Lackey’s velocity.

Breitbart gives Curt Schilling a radio show to fight the Clinton criminal conspiracy

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27:  Former ESPN Analyst Curt Schilling talks about his ESPN dismissal and politics during SiriusXM's Breitbart News Patriot Forum hosted by Stephen K. Bannon and co-host Alex Marlow at the SiriusXM Studio on April 27, 2016 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Getty Images

Former major league pitcher and recently unemployed baseball commentator Curt Schilling has a new gig. He will be joining Breitbart News as the host of a daily online radio show during which he will offer political commentary and take calls from listeners. The radio show will be called “Whatever it Takes.”

The press release describes the show as, “Schilling’s unfiltered and insightful commentary on a mix of topics ranging from politics and culture to current affairs and perhaps some sports.”

Here’s Schilling’s take on it all, again, from the press release:

“God places things in our lives for specific reasons. After being fired by ESPN for my conservative opinions, I arrive here at Breitbart News, which I consider the last bastion of actual journalism. Yes, it’s openly conservative, but as much as liberals despise us they can’t deny the facts behind the arguments. This is the most important election of our lifetimes and under no circumstances can we allow a career criminal to be put in the Oval Office . . . I am proud to be a part of a team that will continue to point out the very thing that’s ruining this country: liberal, progressive, socialist agenda driven by the elite globalist connected to American politics and the Clinton family.”

That’s special. And I suspect the sorts of people who tell Bill and me to “stick to sports” won’t be doing the same to Schilling. Which is fine. I’m all for letting a thousand freak flags fly.  And Schilling’s is one of the freakiest.

In other news, Schilling tried to organize a Donald Trump rally over the weekend at Boston’s city hall. About 15 people showed up for it. Good luck with those radio ratings, Curt.

World Series umpiring crew announced. Hi, Joe West!

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 12: Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs is ejected from the game in the ninth inning by umpire Joe West #22 at against the St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium on September 12, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Getty Images

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)