Really looking forward to the Marlins’ new ballpark, guys. We’ll get to see it tomorrow night for Opening Night against the Cardinals. For now, however, here’s a look at some of the stuff fans won’t notice.
Stuff like batting cages right near the dugout and a state-of-the-art video room nearby as well. And in it: a batter’s box next to a giant video screen where batters can get their timing down against life size video of the opposition. Just really neat. Almost as neat as the design flourishes of the ballpark itself.
Assuming, of course, it is a ballpark.
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)