Josh Hamilton makes his return to Arlington tomorrow as the Angels begin a series with the Rangers. It’s hard enough to get fans to not boo a former player who left via free agency. But one who left and joined a rival? And one who, after joining the rival, said that the old city was not a baseball town? Man, even if that is true — and it totally is — you’d be crazy to think that the local fans aren’t gonna boo that dude when he comes back.
But Dallas Morning News columnist Kevin Sherrington thinks Rangers fans should cheer Hamilton. His argument: Hamilton played some good baseball in Texas and good things happened to the Rangers when it did.
It’s almost cute that he thinks that matters to anyone. Even if he is right.
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)