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Mariano Rivera on Joe West: "He should do his job"

Apr 9, 2010, 8:59 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera has been a major league pitcher since 1995. In those 15 years, I can recall exactly zero instances of him being critical of someone in the press. The man does his job, takes a shower, goes home and does it again the next day and doesn’t let the petty affairs of the mere mortals around him disturb him in any way whatsoever. So when he spoke with the New York Post about Joe West’s intemperate bleatings yesterday, it was definitely notable:

“It’s incredible. 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. 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.”

Joe West might have a point about game length, but (a) it’s his job to try and do something about it; (b) he could start by calling strikes strikes instead of squeezing everyone like he does; and (c) regardless of any of that, he was way, way out of line in going public with his complaints about the Yankees and the Red Sox. If he’s got a problem with them he should take it to the Commissioner’s Office, and in no event should he — a freakin’ umpire crew chief — be ripping teams in the press.

I hope West is disciplined for his wrong-place, wrong-time comments yesterday, and I hope that Major League Baseball makes that discipline public, just as it would do for any player or manager who went after the umpires. Integrity is a two-way street, and if it’s improper for players to questions an umpire’s integrity, it’s improper for an umpire to do the same of the players over whom he has considerable power.

  1. Nasty Boy - Apr 11, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    You are the most ignorant sob that’s ever left a post on this site. you are no doubt a red sux fan. How did you like the way your great closer gave one up to the Yanks the other night. Get used to it scumbag , your going to see alot of that from papelbum. By the way, papelbum couldn’t hold Rivera’s dirty sox. As another post suggest,do us all a favor and don’t post here again. You are a total idiot.

  2. davebaseball - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Way to go, Joe. Too bad it wasn’t an umpire with MLB skill set that said it. Who wants 4 hours of a .150 hitter adjusting his gloves and cup after every pitch as if the next pitch was the one that will produce his annual home run? Or pitchers and catchers that can’t go 2 batters without changing signals, and then the pitcher forgets anyway. Or 20 throws to first to keep the runner close, who would be thrown out by 3 feet with a 1o foot head start.
    Speed it up.

  3. JT - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Thank you for basically saying what I was thinking. The very core of baseball strategy depends on the fact that there is no time limit. I coach Babe Ruth ball and convey this all the time to my boys–slow down and step out of the box if the pitcher is relying on rhythm, throw over to first repeatedly if you have an impatient batter with someone on, etc.
    If teams are delaying in non-strategic ways that’s one thing, but who’s to say what qualifies? ANY delay of the game could be used by one team or player to rattle or anger the opponent. Part of the game.

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