Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com has a good article up about ejections in Major League Baseball this year. And how, despite the fact we have replay now, which many people thought would reduce ejections, ejections are actually up.
Castrovince explains the reasons for this, and they all make sense. The upshot: plunking wars and arguing balls and strikes — two areas which are not subject to replay — always were where the most ejections came from in the first place. Also worth noting — and something I did note when people said replay would cut down on manager arguing times — is that actual close calls that replay address don’t tend to lead to super-crazy arguments anyway, or ejections for that matter. It’s tone and temperament stuff, which is more likely to arise on balls-and-strikes that leads to the super colorful arguments.
Anyway, it’s a good story, if for no other reason than the A.J. Pierzynski anecdote which kicks it off:
Say what you want about that guy, but he is all kinds of fun when he wants to be.
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)