For months Robin Ventura has played coy about the White Sox’s closer role, refusing to give anyone that title, but yesterday he finally relented and made official what has been obvious: The job belongs to rookie Addison Reed.
“He’s earned that,” Ventura told Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago. “I feel comfortable with him in there. That’s who we’d be using if we’re winning. I don’t think he care. I just think he just wants the ball and pitches.”
Reed was the seemingly obvious choice to replace Sergio Santos at closer the whole time, but for whatever reason Ventura decided to go with fellow rookie Hector Santiago early on despite little in his track record suggesting he could thrive in the role.
On the other hand Reed has done nothing but dominate since the White Sox drafted him in the third round two years ago, storming through the minors and then beginning his big-league career with a 29/8 K/BB ratio in 21 innings. And if things go according to plan for the White Sox, Reed, and Ventura the first-year manager might not have to name another closer until he’s a 10th-year manager.
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)