Assuming the Yankees don’t make a run at the postseason, Mariano Rivera’s Hall of Fame career will come to an end September 27-29 against the Astros in Houston. And a familiar face will be there to pay tribute to the all-time saves leader.
According to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, Roger Clemens has agreed to be a part of a pre-game ceremony for his former teammate. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has a personal services contract with the Astros and served as an instructor during spring training earlier this year. Each team has given Rivera a special present as he makes his farewell tour around the majors and the Astros and Clemens plan to do the same.
Rivera and Clemens were teammates with the Yankees from 1999-2003, winning two World Series titles. Rivera notched the save in Clemens’ 300th career victory on June 13, 2003.
In the Major League Baseball system, the people are entertained by two separate yet equally important groups. The players who play the game and the umpires who call the balls, strikes and outs. These are their stories.
Wait, that’s not true. They’re not equally important and we certainly don’t want to hear the umpires’ stories. If the stories are about the umpires it usually that means they’ve screwed up.
Not always, though! In 2013, you may recall, I wrote a story about an umpire who made a much talked about call in a World Series game that (a) happened to be right, even if it was much-debated; and (b) his story is one I’ve always found compelling, even if he’s most famous for a call he got wrong.
Jim Joyce, though, an umpire who was widely admired and respected despite his famous blunders, is one of the few exceptions to the rule about what it means to know an umpires’ name. Most of the time we’re all lucky — umpires included — if the introductions are the first and last time we hear of them.
Here they are for the 2018 World Series, with Game 1 assignments noted:
Home: Tim Timmons
1B: Kerwin Danley
2B: Ted Barrett — Crew Chief
3B: Chad Fairchild
LF: Jeff Nelson
Replay, Games 1-2: Fieldin Culbreth
Replay, Game 3-End: Tim Timmons