Well, here’s something interesting.
Seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time scoring champion Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA last August after a 16-year playing career, but he’s not done with sports altogether. In fact, he’s apparently considering giving baseball a try.
For what it’s worth, ESPN announcer and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy said during a broadcast last night that he was hearing the same thing.
While this is a surprising story on the surface, maybe it shouldn’t be. McGrady played baseball in high school and has said that the game was his first love growing up. Of course, his fallback plan worked out pretty well. McGrady is also an investor in a minor league team in Biloxi, Mississippi which is set to debut in 2015.
McGrady, who stands at 6-foot-8, will turn 35 in May. It should be an interesting story to follow at the very least.
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)