Lyle Overbay got one last start at first base yesterday because Derrek Lee took his time reporting after the Pirates acquired him from the Orioles.
Overbay smacked a two-run homer, going deep for just the eighth time in 352 at-bats, and today the Pirates designated the 34-year-old for assignment.
He wasn’t worth Pittsburgh’s one-year, $5 million investment after showing signs of decline in Toronto last season, but Overbay might find a place on a contender’s roster as a left-handed bench bat. After all, he’s been landing starting jobs despite mediocre production for a decade now.
In fact, Overbay is one of the least productive first basemen in decades. He has a .793 OPS in 4,836 plate appearances. The only first basemen with a lower OPS in more plate appearances during the past 20 years are J.T. Snow and Eric Karros.
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)