Three weeks after receiving a three-game suspension for making contact with a home plate umpire Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is ready to actually start serving his punishment tonight.
His suspension has been reduced from three games to two games, so Mesoraco will sit out tonight and tomorrow while the Reds call up Dioner Navarro from Triple-A to serve as fill-in catching depth.
Part of the delay was due to Mesoraco missing time with a concussion, but he’s been on the active roster since August 9 while MLB took its time ruling on his appeal.
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)