Opening Day is great in theory, but not always great in practice. Especially if you go to the ballpark. Why? You realize that it’s amateur hour, with people who never go to a ballgame making a holiday out of it. And by that I mean that they drink until they’re blind and generally act like jerks.
Go read DesigNate Roberton’s post about yesterday’s Opening Day in Detroit and you’ll find exactly that scene. He called it “a miserable experience from beginning to end,” and I have to agree with him.
Viva mid-June weeknight games with the park half full of people who know the hell what they’re doing.
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)