Joe West has a reputation for being one of the toughest umpires in Major League Baseball. When we say toughest, we mean he is extremely stubborn and unafraid of infuriating managers with questionable calls. On Tuesday night, West showed us a different type of toughness.
Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt ripped a line drive down the first base line off Bartolo Colon in the sixth inning, and it drilled West right in the midsection. Since West was standing in foul territory, there would be no arguing this particular call. But was he OK?
Old man Joe was more than OK. After making the “foul” signal, West stared toward home plate and flexed his muscles.
We have teed off on West on numerous occasions in the past, and he has deserved it every time. That said, any 61-year-old who takes a line drive to the gut and shakes it off like it’s nothing deserves a pat on the back. Nicely done, Cowboy Joe.