May 26, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT
Joe West made headlines last month for complaining about the pace of Yankees-Red Sox games and this afternoon the veteran umpire once again made himself the story by ejecting Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle.
Guillen’s ejection came in the second inning, when he argued West’s balk call against Buehrle. An inning later West called another balk on Buehrle, at which point Buehrle raised his palms in disgust and dropped his glove to the ground.
As soon as West saw any kind of reaction he began moving toward the mound looking for a confrontation and once Buehrle’s glove hit the ground the ejection was immediate.
Buehrle had to be restrained by teammates and White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson spent the next 10 minutes unloading on West, calling him “an absolute disgrace” and “a joke” among many other things. “Joe West wanted to stick it right up his behind and he did,” Harrelson said. “Something’s gotta be done about that. The last couple of years, he’s really had it in for the White Sox.”
As a Twins fan I’m not exactly in the habit of defending the White Sox, but West’s behavior was out of line. Whether or not “he’s really had it in for the White Sox” is up for debate, but he clearly went out of his way to call multiple balks against Buehrle–it’s the first time a White Sox pitcher had two balks called since 1993 and Buehrle had a grand total of one balk called against him in the past three seasons–and then changed the entire complexion of the game (and Chicago’s next couple games) by kicking the starting pitcher out of a 0-0 matchup in the third inning.
On the heels of Bob Davidson’s latest “incident” last night in Tampa Bay, it’s shaping up to be a banner week for out of control umpires.
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