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John Hirschbeck leads All-Star game umpiring crew

Jul 11, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

Joe Maddon, John Hirschbeck AP

Sadly, the All-Star game festivities will have to go on without Joe West this year.

MLB just announced the umpiring assignments and baseball’s biggest instigator did not get the call. Instead it’ll be 30-year veteran John Hirschbeck as crew chief calling balls and strikes, along with Wally Bell (first base), Larry Vanover (second base), Paul Emmel (third base), Rob Drake (left field), and Chad Fairchild (right field).

Baseball Writers Association of America president and A’s beat reporter Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle will serve as one of the official scorers.

And while they’re not technically umpiring the All-Star game, I’m confident that West can still find a way to eject someone, Bob Davidson can find a way to call a balk, and Angel Hernandez can botch a replay call.

  1. seitz26 - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Hirschbeck behind the plate with all-star pitchers on the mound? Don’t show up late for the game, or it may be over before you get there.

  2. historiophiliac - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I bet he gets a seat over the AL dugout and heckles Tigers the whole game.

  3. blacksables - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Wow, Joe West, Bob Davidson, and Angel Hernandez aren’t even part of the game, and HBT finds a way to call them out for … what?

    Good thing the objectivity train left a long time ago.

    You left out Bowie Kuhn, Ty Cobb, Cap Anson, and Abner Doubleday.

    • jdd428 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Here’s some objectivity for you: West, Davidson and Hernandez are the three worst umpires in the MLB.

      • blacksables - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        Yeah, so? I didn’t disagree. The post was supposed to be about the umpires selected to work the game, and it was turned into another attack against three guys who aren’t even going to be there.

        Seems kind of petty to me, to use the pretense of a baseball-related post to verbally attack three guys that aren’t even part of the discussion.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        “Verbally” means something different than you think it means.

      • seitz26 - Jul 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        I think verbally means exactly what he thinks it means. It means “with words”. Doesn’t matter if they’re written or spoken.

      • jdd428 - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        While “verbal” by strict definition means “with words,” in common usage (and legal settings, ie verbal contract) it means “spoken rather than written.”

        I don’t believe he meant that strict definition, so tthe usage I believe he intended is therefore incorrect.

      • paperlions - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        The error was in using the word “attack”. Davidson does call phantom balks, Hernandez is a horrible umpire who regularly botches easy calls (including replay) because it seems he has decided what the call will be before the play occurs, and West regularly baits and ejects players during him ump shows. Those are just facts and do not represent an attack.

      • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        All I can think of reading these posts is the scene in the Princess Bride where Inigo tells Vizinni “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

        Verbal, the new inconceivable.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        verbal┬Ěly adv.
        Usage Note: Verbal has been used since the 16th century to refer to spoken, as opposed to written, communication, and the usage cannot be considered incorrect.

        I tend to follow the rules of modern usage, my liege.

      • seitz26 - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:58 PM


        Interesting debate. I taught “Speech-Com 111-112 – Verbal Communication” while I was a law student at the University of Illinois. It was a mix of writing papers and giving speeches. It was the advanced version of Speech-Com 101, which was just speeches. It was pretty well drilled into us that there is a big difference between “oral communication” and “verbal communication”. So while YMMV, I’m pretty comfortable giving him the benefit of the doubt when using verbal to mean “communication with words”. The Wiki crowd agrees:

        “Pertaining to language or the use of words in general (be it spoken or written) as opposed to non-verbal expression, or to spoken words in particular (although, this is usually a common misuse where “oral” is the correct term, e.g. “oral” v. “written” contract — rather than “verbal” v. “written”).”

  4. burm61 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Not only those 3 but I use the MLB package to see who will be behind the plate the next night. Wendlestadt and Buckner, I don’t think I spelled either correct, are garbage both behind the plate and on the bases.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Joe West didn’t get in, but his 4th chin still has a chance.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Pitbull or Joe West? You must choose.

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