Tagged: Joe West

Joe West Punished

Good.  That self-satisfied, self-promoting, short-tempered, and totally hypocritical pain the…uh, neck has deserved formal censure for quite a while.  Why do I even know his name?  I shouldn’t know any umpire’s name.  They shouldn’t be that noticeable.  And if they expect to be respected, they ought to act in a respectful manner.

MLB fined Joe West along with Buehrle and Guillen over the whole “balk flap.”

This post expresses my real thoughts (as though they weren’t apparent above).
Olberman’s thoughts are worth the time, too, though a couple of the comments there are strangely protective of the walking pile of the stuff neither horse nor grass yet still to be found in horse pastures that is Joe West.
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Umpires Striking Back Link Dump

Well, as you probably know, earlier this week a couple of umpires struck back at ballplayers for being younger and far better at baseball than they are…or for some other reason, like maybe they are just jerks.  But whatever, two umpires, Bob Davidson and Joe West, acted like touchy, ill-tempered, confrontational, attention-seeking scum.

Now, I guess, at least one of them is in trouble.  MLB will punish Joe West.
In addition to First Pitch Strike’s diatribe, a couple of other commentators have written about the need to hold umpires accountable for their actions.
A short history of umpires acting out–and the punishments they faced–can be found here, courtesy of the Common Man via “The Daily Something.”
The thing about Davidson, though he’s not getting the heat that West is receiving, is that while Crawford and Maddon “bumped” him, Davidson moved into them, making the contact unavoidable.  So, tell me again, why don’t umps get in trouble for initiating contact with players and managers?

The Umpires Strike Back–Joe West & Bob Davidson Out of Control (Updated)

Someone needs to be on hand at Major League games to give out-of-line umpires the heave.  I have never even thought this before, always thinking that the umpires had to be respected and obeyed without question or else the game is unplayable.

However, Joe West’s increasingly diva-like behavior is an affront to the game.  Whether it is intentional or not, he is constantly trying to grab the spotlight.  The most absurd instance, of course, was his whining about the length of games.  Hey, Joe: call the strike zone as it’s written and it will make games shorter.  In other words, he talks and whines about a perceived problem without accepting any responsibility for his contribution to the problem.
It’s not merely West’s hair trigger.  It’s not simply his attention-craving behavior.  It’s not just that he seeks confrontations and visibly puffs up as if he’s getting off on ejecting people.  It’s all that and much, much more.  He’s awfully thin-skinned for a guy who looks like he actively baits player and managers.  There are words to describe that king of behavior, words I can’t use here.
The two balk calls he made on Mark Buehrle mean that pretty much no left-hander–and certainly not either Andy Pettitte or Cole Hamels–can throw to first anymore to hold a runner on.  If every other umpire makes the same call, then Buehrle, Pettitte, and Hamels will have to be perfect in every start–as in perfect game perfect–or risk having the opposition steal bases with impunity.
West called two balks on Buehrle on moves that mirror pretty much every other move to first that I’ve Buehrle make.  He ejected Ozzie Guillen following the first balk in the bottom of the second, and then Buehrle himself in the bottom of the third. As a Twins fan, I’ve seen Buehrle a lot over the years and those calls were terrible.  
For once–and you have no idea how much it hurts my brain and soul to write these words–for once, I agree with Ken Harrelson.  (God I feel dirty.)
As a Twins fan I’m not exactly in the habit of defending the White Sox, but West’s behavior was out of line. Whether or not “he’s really had it in for the White Sox” is up for debate, but he clearly went out of his way to call multiple balks against Buehrle–it’s the first time a White Sox pitcher had two balks called since 1993 and Buehrle had a grand total of one balk called against him in the past three seasons–and then changed the entire complexion of the game (and Chicago’s next couple games) by kicking the starting pitcher out of a 0-0 matchup in the third inning.
Joe West needs some counselling or something.
UPDATE: The account of the event at MLB.com.
UPDATE 2: Bob Davidson, home plate umpire for Tuesday night’s Red Sox @ Rays game, also displayed hair trigger reflexes (in nuclear strategy talk, it’s called “launch on warning” and it means the Apocalypse is impending).  Both Craig Calcaterra and Jason at “It’s About the Money, Stupid” call Davidson out of control, providing links to the video and truthful, reasonable observations about (1) how truly terrible that call was, and (2) Davidson’s confrontational and abusive behavior, as he flew immediately into a rage and did most of the cursing and screaming in his, uh, discussions with Carl Crawford and Joe Maddon.  Inexcusable.  
Calcaterra wrote:
This is beyond an umpire defending his call. I don’t know what it is, actually, I can’t recall seeing an ump stay in a player’s and a manager’s face like Davidson did. Usually they at least attempt to back up and defuse the situation.  Here Davidson seemed like the most hostile guy out of the three of them.
Jason wrote:
Bob Davidson, the ump in last night’s Rays/Sox game, went so far over the line in his actions, response, demeanor, it should be used as a training video on how NOT to act as a professional umpire.