Umpire Joe West suspended three games for Adrian Beltre comments

Umpire Joe West has worked more than 5,000 games during his lengthy career. Yet West was not on duty Tuesday night.

It wasn't because West had the night off but because he was serving the first of a three-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball, according to the World Umpires Association. The suspension follows derogatory comments West made to USA Today concerning Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Here's what West said about Beltre:

"It's got to be Adrian Beltre. Every pitch you call that's a strike, he says, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!' I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, "That ball is outside.'

"I told him, 'You may be a great ballplayer, but you're the worst umpire in the league. You stink.''

The publication noted that West said he's on good terms with Beltre. But MLB didn't let that caveat keep it from making a point -- the point being, seemingly, that umpires shouldn't go around bashing players all willy nilly. 

Given how the league doesn't like it when players or managers do the same thing to umpires, it's only fair that West should be expected to bite his tongue and deal with Beltre's criticisms. After all, that's part of the rent paid to maintain the human element. 

The umpires union, meanwhile, is none too pleased and is protesting the suspension. Here's their statement, per the Dallas Morning News:

"Joe West is the most senior umpire in our ranks, having served MLB since 1976 under six different baseball commissioners. Joe has upheld the rules of fair play for more than 5,000 Major League Baseball games and is on his way to the record for more career games ever worked by an MLB umpire. He should be on the field today."

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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