After blowing a save last night Francisco Rodriguez uttered one of my favorite quotes of the season:
You know what, I’m going to speak as a fan, not as a player. I definitely have to get my head out of my butt, pretty much. Simple as that. I have to stop these pathetic outings; they’re really pathetic. I just have to get it done, I have to find a way to go out there and be more aggressive, start making quality pitches, and start getting people out. Because it’s been really embarrassing this month, pretty much.
I like everything about that quote, from the fact that he actually said “butt” instead of something that needed censoring to his repeated use of “pretty much.”
Rodriguez blew his first save chance of the season back in April, converted 19 straight saves, and has now blown saves in back-to-back appearances. Yet for all the criticism he’s taken and for how critical of himself he is in that quote Rodriguez is actually having a very good season with a 3.34 ERA and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 35 innings, including seven straight outings without issuing a walk.
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)