I suppose this applies to everyone by virtue of the new wild card, but for some reason I found it really cute that the Pittsburgh Pirates had someone calculate it:
Team president Frank Coonelly had Dan Fox, the Pirates’ statistical guru, build a computer model to illustrate the impact: The Pirates’ chance of making the playoffs increased 13 percent.
“We’re very much in favor of that,” Coonelly said with a smile.
This reminds me of teenage boys calculating their odds of losing their virginity by analyzing the male-to-female ration of their school. I mean, sure, I suppose that increases the chances of something happening, but there are a hell of a lot more factors in play, ya know?
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)