I’m already miles beyond sick of people talking about Alex Rodriguez, but as a 30-year-old writer I’m amused by a 42-year-old general manager quoting Jay Z on the subject, like Rick Hahn of the White Sox did yesterday:
But Hahn mostly stayed away from the drama. He chose instead to focus on his team, which is in the midst of its longest losing streak in 37 years. … “You’ve seen this team play recently: I’ve got 99 problems and A-Rod ain’t one of them,” Hahn said with a smile.
In his first season since taking over for Kenny Williams the White Sox have plummeted to the second-worst record in baseball at 41-69, including 13 losses in the last 15 games.
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