Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Who's Umpiring The Umpires

What happens when an umpire has it out for your manager? It's no secret that umpire Joe West does not like Ozzie Guillen. It's also no surprise that Ozzie Guillen was ejected by Joe West. That would've happened even if Joe West was in love with everything Ozzie did.

What happens when an umpire's hatred for your manager influences his decisions against your team? Then you have a situation that happened today.
Joe West called two balks on Mark Buehrle. Then, right after the second balk (and an inning after Ozzie Guillen was ejected), Joe West ejects Mark Buehrle.

Yes, Mark Buehrle. Also known as the calmest person in baseball. What could Mark possibly have done to incur that sort of wrath? He picked up his glove.

Mark had to be roped off by umpire Angel Hernandez. For anyone who has followed the career of Mark Buehrle, you know that Angel did not have to do that. Mark seemed to be more shocked and inquisitive than anything. Do you really think Mark would have rushed Joe West? I think not. Angel was just following protocol and I can't fault him for that.

I had planned to do a long post about West, Buehrle and Guillen, but Wronged Man Out posted her story first and it pretty much summed up what I was going to say. Read Melissa's excellent post here.

Shouldn't there be a check and balance system in place with umpires? Shouldn't they strive to make the correct decision, no matter what their personal feelings are?

Joe West has infected the MLB with his showboating and "me first" attitude for awhile. Joe used to be a very competent umpire, who was one of the best in the business. Now he is a pathetic hack, who would rather bring attention to himself by making a spectacle of himself and a mockery of the game, in order to promote his singing career.

Umpires are only human and they do make mistakes. That's one of the many beautiful aspects of baseball. There's a difference between making a mistake and having a personal vendetta. There was so much outcry over Joe West's actions today, "Joe West" became a trending topic on Twitter. If that doesn't tell you that there's something seriously wrong with Cowboy Joe West, I don't know what to tell you.

Retire, Joe West, and focus on you. That's obviously what you do best. Write a country song about how you were wronged. Curse Ozzie Guillen all you want in your downtrodden country songs. It might make a better hit than your recent umpiring.


Jim from Downingtown said...

Joe West is the poorest excuse for an umpire that there's been in the last 40 years. How he still has a job is amazing!

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for linking my blog in this! I was so excited to read your take and didn't expect that at all... and of course, you're right. Did you see where I wrote about how he has a PR agent and emails the mlb beat writers about doing interviews and promoting his CD? That along is a joke and a conflict of interest... He's a hack and if MLB doesn't do something about it I'm gonna be livid. I love your post as always! <3

the sewingmachineguy said...

Hernandez thinks he IS part of the game. What a dick.
West is just old, fat and blind.
McClellan is losing it too.

Steve Gierman said...


I've been hearing a lot about Joe West today from a lot of different people. No one has had a kind word.

You wrote just about everything I was going to write in this post and made articulate and well thought out points. Of course I'm going to steer people to that! :-)

I loved your take on everything today. The PR agent wasn't a surprise, since he's an "artist", but the part about the e-mails made me laugh out loud. That is why you have one of the best Sox blogs out there. The writing is always top-notch and always from a unique perspective. I may not always comment, but I always read (and love) your posts!

Steve Gierman said...

I think it's time for the old guard of umpires to retire. The umpires definitely are in need of new blood out there.

Matt Runyon said...

I think C.B. Bucknor is a worse umpire, but it's pretty close.

Sooz said...

Joe West and Ed Rapuano are on the list.

Spiff said...

Haven't liked Joe West since the early 1990's. He's arrogant and a grandstanding showboat.

Paul Whitfield said...

I find it interesting that while Ozzie and Buehrle were slapped with fines, so was Joe West. That kind of confirms everything that's being said here. When was the last time an umpire was fined in a dispute? Apparently, he's so bad that MLB can't ignore it.

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