The Rays are in search of a designated hitter, and with Delmon Young off the table, the options are dwindling. Which has them looking at bringing back an old friend: Luke Scott. Marc Topkin reports that there’s a “mutual interest” between Scott and the Rays at a reunion.
Scott hit a Delmon Young-esque .229/.285/.439 with 14 homers and a .725 OPS last season, but I suppose if the options are poor, you go with the devil you know.
Upside: if he stays with the Rays I’ll be able to continue using the pic that accompanies this post for several more months. I really, really love this pic.
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)