Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger has a good overview of the State of the Jeter these days. In it comes a quote from a scout who, after scrutinizes the hell out of Jeter’s current game, decries that Jeter is being scrutinized too much:
“That’s always easy to say when age comes,” the scout said. “He stays in great shape physically and mentally, has great feel for how to play the game. He’s being too scrutinized by the goofy saber-Gods.“
Not to be confused with the Hindu Love Gods. Or the Primitive Radio Gods. Or just the Gods. That said, “Goofy Saber-Gods” would make an excellent name for a rock band.
But let’s also be honest about something: it’s not the goofy saber-Gods who have made Jeter’s struggles front page news. They’ve been pretty accurately assessing Jeter, for all of his strengths and weaknesses, for years. This has only become a big story because now the mainstream media who talk to Jeter in the clubhouse every day are asking him about his struggles and openly speculating about moving him up and down the lineup, his legacy and all of that.
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)