ESPN The Magazine ran a poll recently asking 100 unnamed MLB players to rank the best and worst umpires in the game.
Jim Joyce, who blew Tigers starter Armando Galarraga’s bid for a perfect game two weeks ago, was given top billing in the poll and it wasn’t even close. Tim McClelland came in second and Jim Wolf was ranked third. CB Bucknor, Joe West and Angel Hernandez were ranked among the worst.
Joyce drew praise for owning up to his mistake and clearly showing remorse when he denied Galarraga history in June. Many players and fellow umpires came forward in defense of the man, and now it’s pretty clear to see that he is widely respected.
Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.
The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.
This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.