Interviewed on ESPN 103.3 radio Tuesday, Josh Hamilton said he sees himself having another four years in the outfield before moving to first base.
Hamilton, 30, is expected to play left field rather than center this year in an effort to save wear and tear on his body. Injuries have limited him to 89, 133 and 121 games the last three years, though he was the AL MVP in the second of those years anyway.
Hamilton is a free agent at season’s end and isn’t likely to re-up with the Rangers before then. Saying that he eventually wants to move to first won’t necessarily help his stock, especially with big spenders like the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Tigers all locked into big deals with first basemen for the long haul.
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)