When we heard last week that Mitch Williams ordered one of his ten-year-old Little League players to bean another ten-year-old player — and that Williams called a kid on the other team a vile name — I said that if I ran the MLB Network I’d fire Williams. Well, the next best thing is happening:
The MLB Network told the Daily News Saturday afternoon that Williams is taking a leave of absence from the network.
“Mitch Williams has decided to take a leave of absence from his role at MLB Network at this time,” an MLB Network spokesperson said in an email to the Daily News. “We are continuing to look into the matter.”
I wonder if it was really Williams who “decided” the matter. Because doing so would require good judgment and Williams seems to have none at all.
Now, if we could get rid of Chris Russo we’d really be cooking with gas.
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)