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Joe Dirt

Umpire Joe West calls out the Sox and Yanks:

"They're the two clubs that don't try to pick up the pace," said West, chief of the umpiring crew that worked the three-game series in Boston. He was the home plate umpire Sunday. "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." …

"All of baseball looks to these two clubs to pick up the pace," West said. "Angel did everything he could. The players aren't working with us.

"This is embarrassing, a disgrace to baseball."

Interesting. You know what else is "pathetic and embarrassing?"

Joe West umpiring a baseball game.

14 replies on “Joe Dirt”

h/t to SOSH by the way.
It’s one thing to criticize the teams, which many have done, for their slow play. It’s another for a plainly incompetent umpire who was chief of a crew that had a dreadfully poor series both behind the plate and on the bases to criticize the way other grown men do their jobs. That’s an amazing amount of hubris, even for Joe West.

I actually don’t have a problem with him calling out teams for taking too long to play the game, but calling it “embarassing” and “pathetic”?!? A little overstated, don’t you think?
Theo Epstein responded to this with a “No comment” but Mariano actually shot back: “It’s incredible. If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?”
I gotta say – I love the retort. And maybe even more than that, I love the guts of a pitcher who relies on ball and strike calls to fire back like that. I won’t love it if West’s Mo-zone shrinks a little as a result. You kow that exchange of quotes will be flashed on the screen the next time West is behind the plate for a Mo-appearance.

Both these teams wear pitchers out. West is being ridiculous here, and the PA and the clubs should demand that he be suspended. Honestly: if an umpire goes so far to judge the Sox and the Yanks this way he cannot be trusted to be impartial. Sit the clown down.
“They take too long to play” – what an absolute joke of a comment. West can make pitchers throw, take less time, start punishing them – that’s his role. Maybe he should do HIS job.
Criticizing the players for not throwing strikes or swinging at balls (and with West how do you know which is which, anyhow?) is pitiful.

Why does the league even allow the umpires union to even exist?
They should have completely done away with it after what could possibly be considered the worst-executed union strikes in the history of mankind.
I know they just agreed to a new bargaining agreement, but I wonder if the player’s union has any power in this when it comes time to renew their bargaining agreement. I have to imagine they can’t be too pleased with the activist role umpires have been taking over the past several years.
Hey, it’s not the umpires’ fault. It’s a tough job, and there likely is no one who can do the job better. But the umpires better watch their backs, because the technology has been available for years to make their existence obsolete. If they become a big enough pain in the ass, the league may see fit to simply put them all out of work. They’re certainly not on the right road.

Did everyone hear Mo’s response? It’s brilliant:
“It’s incredible,” Rivera told The Post. “If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?”
“He has a job to do. He should do his job,” Rivera said. “We don’t want to play four-hour games but that’s what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do and that’s play our game.”

his apparent incompetence aside, west probably just doesn’t get it that the game changes when “two of the best teams in baseball get together”…both teams have some very patient hitters…there tend to be a number of pitching changes…and frequently a lot of runs scored…that takes time…yeah, stuff like jeter’s quirks take time too, but clearly west doesn’t understand the game…and that’s scarier than his umpiring…

As if we all needed another reason to love Mo. It’s a shame they’re not in Boston again tonight because I bet if he came on he’d get a standing O just for that comment.
West is right that the modern game is too long, but come on. [they also start too late, cost too much…..] We want MORE yanks-sox. what we don’t want is a 4 hour o’s-rays game. hustling the players along is fine, but they’re going to have to do it EVERY night to change the culture, if that’s they’re game. and singling out teams that take a lot of pitches is not the answer.
also, yeah, call the effin’ strike zone.

If umpires are getting quoted in the press, then in my opinion, someone at the league office is not doing his/her job. Umps should be in the background, not a part of the story, and not impacting the outcome of the game.

What’s most galling about those comments is that the easiest way to shorten games is completely under the purview of the umpire.
Umps have the ability to call automatic balls and strikes for batters and pitchers who take too long. They have the ability to call the strike zone as it exists in the rule books (which is a fair sight larger than West certainly calls it, even when he’s being consistent, which is hardly ever), they have the ability, as Hernandez did, to refuse to grant time outs to hitters. If West has a problem with the length of the games, then his problem is really with himself and his crew.
Sox and Yanks fans can always agree when the subject is the incompetence and arrogance of MLB umpires, personified perfectly in the person of Joe West.

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