Tag:Joe West
Posted on: May 10, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: May 10, 2011 10:58 am

Pepper: Aces meet in Florida

By Matt Snyder

WEST AT IT AGAIN: Another game, another ejection by Joe West's awful excuse for an umpiring crew. Monday night, Ron Gardenhire of the Twins was West's victim. MLB Network studio analyst Larry Bowa said MLB executive Joe Torre needs to find a way to get West under control. You know I agree, and here's a link to my rant from last week on West's crew.

UH ... REALLY? During Justin Verlander's no-hitter in Toronto, Blue Jays' outfielder Juan Rivera ran by the mound and told Verlander he was just "getting lucky." Verlander even confirmed this after the game. "He was probably just trying to get under my skin," said the righty. (sportsnet.ca ) I know sometimes things are said due to frustration, so maybe Rivera backed off the comments later. Only he didn't. Instead he stood behind the remark. Look, there are certainly times where a run-of-the-mill pitcher has everything break his way and throws a no-no, but Verlander now has done it twice and is one of the elite arms in the game. There's no other way to spin the situation than to say that Rivera was just jealous.

QUITE A LEAP: From running a small hot dog stand to the Wrigley Field public address announcer within a few days? Yep, that's what Andrew Belleson did. Pretty cool story. (Chicago Tribune )

OFFENSIVELY CHALLENGED: The Twins have had a putrid offense pretty much all season. Before Monday's game against the Red Sox, a reporter asked manager Ron Gardenhire about Francisco Liriano's next start, saying "you don't need another no-hitter." Gardenhire's reply? "We don't? Who are you kidding?" (Twins Now via Twitter)

MONEY MATTERS: While Chris Young's season -- and maybe even career -- hangs in the balance, the Mets still have money woes. Thus, it's worth looking at Young's contract. He has a base salary of $1.1 million with incentives that could have pushed the deal all the way up to $4.5 million. He obviously hasn't reached any of those yet, so it's looking increasingly likely the Mets will only owe the initial $1.1 million. (ESPN New York )

MAD MILTON: When Milton Bradley was clipped by the Mariners Monday, the reaction across the baseball-loving world was anywhere from jubilation to relief to mockery. The always-great Geoff Baker of Mariners Blog (Seattle Times ) offers up a very thoughtful piece on Bradley, in that now he should be trying to figure out what makes him happy and get himself straightened out. It's very fair. While pointing out that Bradley has never been accountable for his actions, Baker also points out that teams continuing to sign Bradley have been enabling his behavior instead of forcing him to solve his personal demons. Meanwhile, Jerry Brewer of the same outlet discusses that Bradley's career is probably over. I tend to agree. When he was productive, it wasn't surprising that teams would give him a shot. But, to put it succinctly, he sucks now. There's no reason for anyone to give him a shot.

TURNIN' BACK THE CLOCK: Hanley Ramirez has had an awful beginning to the 2011 season. Back in 2009, he hit .342 with 24 home runs and 106 RBI, finishing second in MVP voting. So Hanley went back into his storage closet and found his bats from 2009. He started using them Sunday and has since gone 3-9 with two runs scored. He also scorched a pair of balls Sunday that didn't work out (one was a foul ball that easily had home run distance, the other was a line drive double-play that was right at the shortstop). Hey, if he thinks that will help, it very well might. Baseball is such a mental game, any little adjustment could get things on track. (Fish Bytes )

THE ROAD BACK: Josh Hamilton has been out several weeks with an injured shoulder, but he's going to take batting practice Friday (Evan Grant via Twitter).

MASKED MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN: "We are constantly looking for ways to connect and engage with our great fan base," said Angels vice president of sales and marketing, Robert Alvarado. And Tuesday night in Anaheim, the Angels will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for "largest gathering of people wearing costume masks." Specifically, everyone in attendance is going to get an Angels wrestling mask. Sorry, this is stupid. Can't the fans just go watch a baseball game? (MLB.com )

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 4:03 pm

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

By Matt Snyder

Joe West, Angel Hernandez, Chad Fairchild and Paul Schrieber are the worst umpiring crew in the majors, and it's not even close. If it was simply a competence issue, that might be a bit less of a problem. You can fix incompetence through more training. No, the problem is way worse. It's a crew that has a mental issue in terms of being accountable and lacking the most needed skill in officiating a sport.

There's a chip on the shoulder and penchant for intentionally becoming the story. That's a big problem.

Full disclosure here: I probably respect professional sports officials more than the average fan, because I'm a high school football official. Please don't misconstrue this into my saying I know what it's like to umpire major-league baseball. Not even close. I'm just saying I have an appreciation for how much harder it is to call a sporting event than the average fan realizes. Of course, I also realize that there are certain things that apply to all levels. Such as:

- A sporting official is doing his job if you don't even notice him.
- If a player, coach or manager gets thrown out of the game, one of two people are completely out of line: 1. the person who was ejected; 2. the person who did the ejecting.
- An official should never make himself part of the story or the center of attention.

These are basic and apply to all sports. If a player, coach or manager makes the umpire part of the story, that's not the umpire's fault. But West and his crew constantly violate all three of the above principles. And what's with all the yelling back? Shouldn't they just let players and managers vent? I sometimes think of it as the equivalent of an adult and child arguing. At some point, you have to be the adult. The umpires should act the same way. If you need to throw someone out, do it. Then just let him kick and scream like a child. There's no reason to scream back.

Wednesday night in Tampa Bay was just another example of the problem with this umpiring crew. Three people were ejected. B.J. Upton deserved it -- even though he was correct that it was an awful call, by the way. Joe Maddon and John Farrell were both ejected for arguing pretty mildly and neither deserved to be thrown out. Farrell's ejected was absurd because it looked like a completely ordinary conversation. No one else even knew he was arguing until the umpire made an issue out of it. You have to be pretty insecure to toss a guy who isn't doing anything to cause a scene. Maddon's ejection was absurd because he was simply asking a question and West later admitted he blew the call. Oh, wait, he said "it appears we may have erred." Quite an admission, huh?

Look, I understand the umpires take abuse and don't get near enough respect for the job they do. That's precisely why this crew is such a problem. These guys make it harder on the rest of the umpires in the bigs. You ever hear one bad apple spoils the whole bunch? If fans, media, players and coaches all have a sour taste about calls they see on a day-to-day basis from a group of umpires, suddenly the entire group of major-league umpires are stained. In order to stop people from having a sour taste in their mouths about umpiring, these guys need to quit putting themselves in the spotlight.

I don't know if they like or even crave the negative attention -- as some would say that's better than no attention at all -- but umpiring isn't supposed to be something that makes you famous. If someone is in it for anything but the job itself, they are in the wrong profession.

Enough of the constant ejections, ripping off the mask to scream at a dugout, tossing pitchers without warning or waiting for the TV cameras to come back on before running a guy. Just do your job and stay anonymous, that's all we're asking. No one is paying to watch an umpire sideshow. I'm guessing that's how Major League Baseball feels as well -- it just won't publicly say it.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 5, 2011 1:02 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 1:06 am

Ump: 'We may have erred'

Joe Maddon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's not exactly Jim Joyce costing Armando Galarraga a perfect game, but don't tell that to Rays manager Joe Maddon.

Umpire Joe West said he "may have erred" in reversing a call in the Jays' 3-2 victory over the Rays on Wednesday.

West's explanation is a little confusing, so I'll start with describing the action first.

With one out in the seventh inning and the Jays leading 3-1, the Rays had runners on first and second and Sam Fuld at bat. Fuld hit a grounder to third, where Edwin Encarnacion fielded the ball, stepped on the bag and threw to first, where Adam Lind was pulled off the bag by Encarnacion's wide throw and tried to tag Fuld. West called Fuld safe.

Toronto's Don Wakamatsu, who was the acting manager after John Farrell was ejected earlier in the game, came out to protest and West quickly called Fuld out, ending the inning.

According to a pool reporter (via the National Post), West said second-base umpire Angel Hernandez told him he clearly saw that Lind made the tag. Hernandez also told West that Fuld had reached the base first, but West ignored that part.

"All I asked Angel was did [Lind] tag him, and Angel told me, 'I thought you had [Fuld] safe for being not he bag,'" West said. "I didn't heed that warning.

"I made the judgment based on what I had at first base. So it appears that we may have erred, but we did everything [by] protocol, right by the book. I don't know what else we could have done."

Joe Maddon came out and was promptly tossed from the game.

"If there's any particular play that screams for instant replay, it's that one," Maddon told reporters after the game. "I just don't understand how you can make that call from that distance. I don't believe you can see it properly. That was my argument."

Replays showed Fuld was likely safe -- and West was initially right that Fuld was safe and Hernandez was right that Lind did get a piece of Fuld -- even if it was after Fuld hit the bag.

In the end, Maddon's right -- replay would solve these problems and the game could have been different. A couple of years ago the umpires made a concerted effort to put their egos aside and confer more often on close calls. It was a step in the right direction, but it's about time to not just take steps in the right direction, but to reach the destination of fairness. In the end, the most important thing is getting the calls right, and it doesn't matter how that's achieved.

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Posted on: October 24, 2010 6:04 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:10 pm

Instant replay isn't a panacea

In a season where the calls for replay to be used in Major League Baseball, the NFL reminds us that even with replay, humans still make the final decisions.

In Sunday's 23-22 Steelers victory at Miami , referee Gene Steratore made the call that the Steelers recovered a Ben Roethlisberger fumble in the end zone, despite the Dolphins coming up with the ball. Common sense says the Dolphins recovered the fumble and should have had the ball at the 20. Steratore said the rules state otherwise.

"After the review, it has been determined that prior to the ball crossing the goal line, the runner did lose possession of the ball," Steratore told the crowd. " However, by rule in replay, two aspects of this play must be available  to be viewed. Not only did we have to view the fumble being a fumble, we also have to have clear evidence of the team recovering the ball. After review, we do not have clear evidence of the team recovering the ball. Therefore Pittsburgh will have the ball, fourth-and-goal at the half-yard line. Miami will not be charged with a timeout and the clock will start on the ready for play."
Jeff Reed then kicked the game-winning field goal.

Steratore is the same referee who ruled Lions receiver Calvin Johnson didn't make a game-winning catch in September and called a questionable roughing the passer call against the Ravens the next week. Somewhere, Joe West is feeling bad for him.

No matter what kind of replay is added, the final call still comes down to a person interpreting rules written by a person, therefore there are always mistakes or at least the appearance of mistakes. Instant replay can help, but it won't solve all woes.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Tags: Joe West, replay
Posted on: June 29, 2010 11:36 am

Controversial ump to return to Yankee Stadium

Joe West There's nothing more forgiving or welcoming than a New York crowd. Or not.

Expect a reaction when the umpires are announced before Tuesday's Yankees-Mariners game at Yankee Stadium, as controversial umpire Joe West will work the game, the New York Post reports .

In April, West called the Yankees and Red Sox "a disgrace to baseball" after the opening series of the season between the two teams.

West told the Record : "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."

West has found himself exactly where he seems to want to be this season -- in the spotlight. West has a publicist who peppers anyone with a big-league credential with press releases for his country music releases and is always promoting interview opportunities for the umpire.

Umpiring, at its best, is an anonymous profession, but West has been anything but, especially in 2010.

Not only did he make the remarks about the Yankees and Red Sox, he also got into a spat with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen after calling two balks on Mark Buehrle last month.

Following that incident, Guillen had quite a few things to say about West. Here's the best of them from the Chicago Sun-Times :

"Sometimes he thinks [expletive] people pay to watch him [expletive] umpire."

"He's a [expletive] [expletive], that's what he is."

"I deserve respect and the players here deserve respect, too. When you tell the manager to 'get the [expletive] off the field,' I don't think that's a good way to handle situations. No matter what you say, what you do, how long you talk here, Major League Baseball doesn't do [expletive] for anything."

"He think he's the [expletive] on the field. People pay to watch [expletive] 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 [expletive] umpire.'"

About the same incident, Buehrle said, "I think he's too worried about promoting his CD and I think he likes seeing his name in the papers a little too much instead of worrying about the rules."

All three -- including West -- were fined for the incident.

This month, West raised eyebrows when he reversed a call at third base in a Reds-Nationals game all the way from first base -- even though the reversal was the right call, it seemed odd.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 16, 2010 1:40 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 4:05 pm

Padres' Torrealba suspended three games

Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba was suspended three games for making contact with umpire Larry Vanover during Monday's loss to the Blue Jays.

Torrealba argued a called third strike and was fined an undisclosed amount.

If it had been Joe West, he would have received an all-expense vacation to Hawaii for three days, but instead he'll start his suspension today and sit out games Friday and Saturday -- unless he appeals.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 13, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:30 pm

Poll: Joyce baseball's best umpire

Even the best aren't always perfect. An anonymous poll of 100 players conducted by ESPN The Magazine named Jim Joyce the best umpire in baseball.

Joyce, best-known for his infamous missed call that cost Detroit's Armando Galarraga a perfect game, received 53 percent of the votes. Tim McClelland (who was criticized for his performance in last season's ALCS) was second, followed by Jim Wolf.

CB Bucknor, Joe West and Angel Hernandez were the worst umpires, according to the poll.

The poll also showed the players polled are against instant replay, supported Bud Selig's handling of Galarraga's perfect game and gave umpiring in baseball an overall grade of "B."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com