After missing the past four games with a hand infection Hanley Ramirez is back in the Marlins’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Braves.
However, manager Ozzie Guillen has dropped Ramirez to the sixth spot in the batting order for the first time this season. Ramirez previously hit there twice in 2011 and once in 2006. And that’s it.
He’s hit third (64 times), second (19 times), or fifth (7 times) in every game this season, but Ramirez is in a prolonged slump that’s seen him bat just .200 with a .605 OPS in 38 games since early June.
Meanwhile, rumors are swirling about the Marlins shopping Ramirez and the Red Sox, A’s, and Blue Jays are among the teams said to be interested.
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)