Barry Larkin has signed on to be Brazil’s manager for the World Baseball Classic and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has news of another big name taking a WBC gig:
Eric Gagne will be France’s pitching coach (he’s a French-Canadian from Montreal).
My first reaction was to be amused, but that only lasted a few seconds before I thought, “Wow, I’m old.”
Gagne debuted in 1999, won the Cy Young award in 2003, and last pitched in 2008 for the Brewers. He’s now 37.
I’m looking forward to a whole pitching staff throwing Vulcan changeups.
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)