I’m glad to see that prominent media members are starting to focus on the fact that Bob Davidson is one of the worst and definitely the most confrontational umpire in baseball.
Last year Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch ripped into Davidson with a well-done column describing the umpire’s lengthy history of wrong calls and attention-seeking behavior, and now John Lott of the National Post has penned a similar column following Davidson’s latest “incident” with the Blue Jays yesterday.
Lott notes that Davidson led all MLB umpires with 10 ejections last season, points out his incredible propensity to call balks on pitchers, and explains how his tendency to “squat” more than any other umpire leads to a questionable strike zone when he’s behind the plate.
I can’t even begin to count the number of times over the years I’ve heard of an umpire-related incident and been right assuming it involved Davidson. Being a bad umpire is one thing, but being aggressively bad is what really drives me–and an increasing number of people, apparently–crazy when it comes to Davidson.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.