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Joe West to be crew chief for ALCS

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Boston Red Sox fans were pretty exasperated about having to watch Angel Hernandez ump their games in the ALDS. Good news for them: Angel Hernandez will NOT be on the umpire crew for the ALCS against the Astros.

But Joe West will.

Yes, the same Joe West who is often brought up alongside Hernandez when conversations about the worst umpires in the game arise. To be fair, West is a better umpire than Hernandez when it comes to calling the game — who isn’t? — but West certainly has had his run-ins with players and has spent his entire career making games about him rather than the baseball. Here’s hoping he keeps that to a minimum this postseason.

The crews, with their Game 1 assignments included. The crew chief is asterisked:

NLCS

Home: Scott Barry
1B: Alan Porter
2B: Gerry Davis*
3B: Hunter Wendelstedt
LF: Jim Wolf
RF: Brian Gorman
Replay, Games 1-2: Greg Gibson
Replay, Games 3-7: Scott Barry

ALCS

Home: James Hoye
1B: Vic Carapazza
2B: Joe West*
3B: Mark Carlson
LF: Chris Guccione
RF: Mark Wegner
Replay, Games 1-2: Bill Miller
Replay, Games 3-7: James Hoye

Rafael Devers won’t visit White House with Red Sox

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The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.

However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”

Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.

Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.

Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.

No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.