Cardinals 4, Marlins 1: I wrote up a more thorough summary last night if you’re curious. For now, though, let us note that Angel Hernandez is in midseason form already, calling Omar Infante safe at first base when he was clearly out in the bottom of the eighth. That should have been out number three, but instead a run scored and the inning was extended.
That was pretty inconsequential, of course. Most was in this game compared to the ballpark (garish, but bold and I kind of like it); the pageantry (Dancing girls? Fireworks and flag-bearers? Really?); and the sad sight of Muhammad Ali on that golf cart at the beginning of the game which, man, I don’t know.
But no matter what you thought of any of those specifically, I hope we can agree that baseball doesn’t do spectacle well. I sort of wish they wouldn’t try. I would prefer a simple “play ball.”
Maybe we’ll get a few more of those today and less sparkle.
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)