Umpire Joe West Getting Old and Cranky
When the Red Sox and Yankees squared off to open the 2010 MLB season, they seemed to really aggravate 32-year veteran umpire Joe West. West, who was the chief of the crew that worked the series, had the following to say about the Sox and Yankees rate of play when they face each other:
They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace. They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.”
His point is taken, but it’s a bit of an overreaction. The two teams do take forever when they play each other, but anyone who watches the games knows they aren’t doing it on purpose and then laughing about it afterword. Red Sox and Yankees hitters are extremely disciplined at the plate. Combine that with the fact that Francona and Girardi are always making pitching changes to assure the right arms are facing the right bats, and you’ve got yourself a long baseball game. They do it because the games just mean more, regardless of what the players might say.
It would seem West isn’t only taking out his frustrations on the Red Sox and Yankees this season. On Tuesday afternoon, he ejected Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen for arguing a balk call against Mark Buehrle in the second inning and tossed Buehrle himself in the third just for getting upset after being called for a second balk. Check out the video of Joe West ejecting Mark Buehrle just for dropping his glove in frustration, courtesy of The Sporting Blog and TwitVid user chrislittmann:
Are you kidding me? I suppose it’s possible Buehrle managed to shout a fierce insult at West while his back was turned to us, but I highly doubt it. That looks like a straight up power trip to me. Talk about slowing down a game. Note to Joe West: I’m sure you’ve made a decent amount of money during your 32 years of MLB service — if you’re no longer enjoying yourself, retire. That’s all I have to say about that, but Ozzie Guillen had a few more choice words for West after the game that will surely result in a hefty fine:
He thinks he’s the s— in the field. People pay to watch f—ing players play, not to see umpires and managers. I don’t see any people say, ‘I’m going to see Ozzie Guillen manage or Joe West f—ing umpire.”
You tell him, Ozzie.