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Terry Francona fined, avoids a suspension, for his dustup with Joe West

May 12, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

Terry Francona, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

Terry Francona was tossed from last Friday’s game after arguing an Angel Hernandez balk call (Really? Angel Hernandez called a controversial balk? Shocking.)  In the course of that fracas, Francona and Joe West went at it a bit and bumped into each other several times, mostly at Joe West’s instigation, it seemed.

The disciplinary verdict is in: Francona was fined an undisclosed amount, but he will not be suspended. And based on Francona’s comments as reported in the Boston Herald today, it sounds like Joe West may have been hit harder than Francona got hit:

Francona declined to reveal the amount but praised MLB personnel for having “a pretty good sense of humor about it.” Francona said he told Matt McKendry, specialist of on-field operations, “ ‘I’ll pay it when I get to New York,’ and he said he doesn’t want any Canadian money, even though I think it’s worth more than ours.” Francona said he thought that “(West) should have fouled out, I thought I took the charge.”

I’ve complained in the past that umpires should get disciplined for their bad behavior too. I’ve been told by those inside the game, however, that they do get disciplined, even if we don’t hear much about it. Why we don’t hear much about it is another topic — my guess; the league worries that a long disciplinary record against an ump may erode the respect players have for them — but it’s good to know that they get smacked too.

And if the guys in the league office are joking around with Francona about all of this and not suspending him despite contact with an umpire, you can probably assume that West’s wallet is a lot lighter right now.

  1. Panda Claus - May 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Bumping an ump with no suspension? Sounds like an indictment against West, as maybe the league is indirectly acknowledging West has a pre-lit fuse and is basically a problem.

    Could this decision allow managers to have an open-season on chest-bumping Joe West? I suspect quite a few fans wouldn’t really be bothered by that.

    • nps6724 - May 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      It looked to me West bumped Francona, not the other way around.

      • cur68 - May 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        That’s what I saw. He stuck his huge gut in the way and nudged Tito with it a couple of times. Francona could have avoided it, but only by jumping backwards. I hope the revoked West’s buffet privileges too. Hit him where it hurts, that’s what I say.

  2. TomTom - May 12, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Maybe they should fire this…this…I can’t quite come up with a name for him. Hey BC – what’s that name you always use for guys like this?

    • BC - May 12, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Um. That would be chipwich.
      But West is more like a 12 foot by 12 foot chipwich. Chipwich Grande?

  3. luckywi - May 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    I heard a local sportswriter say that Joe West is going to get punched before all is said and done. And that’s what he wants. I guess they don’t call him “Cowboy” Joe West for nothing.

  4. cur68 - May 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    The exchange rate for beaverbucks to greenbacks is $1.04. MLB is turning down a 4% profit. This explains sooooo much…

  5. aceshigh11 - May 12, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Damn, I bet if Terry had known he was going to get a free pass, he would’ve grabbed “Cowboy” Joe West by the neck and started choking him with his own throat fat.

  6. BC - May 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Total indictment of West. Unfortunately, the Useless Union, er, Umpires Union will keep it all quiet and we’ll never know if he was fined, got 30 lashes with a wet noodle, or got off scot-free.
    Fire the Union already! MLB, tear down this wall!

    • natstowngreg - May 12, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      It is unfortunate that MLB isn’t more transparent about disciplining umpires, but I wouldn’t blame the union alone. MLB has an interest in not letting fans know when umpires are disciplined — though, like nps6724, I think it’s overrated.

  7. BC - May 12, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    And if an umpire starts to get a long disciplinary record, guess what? S–tcan his a$$. But again, it’s all behind the Union curtain, where they protect their own at all costs.

  8. nps6724 - May 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    I’ve never understood the idea that letting people know when umps get in trouble leads to less respect for that ump. Most umps already have reps (good and bad) and a suspension or fine isn’t changing that. No one knows what kind of discipline Joe West received, but we all still know he’s a terrible ump. The players know the good ones. And the bad ones.

  9. Jonny 5 - May 12, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Kuato is not pleased by this news. Not pleased at all. “You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory.”

  10. deathmonkey41 - May 12, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Once again, MLB knuckles under the Red Sox and it’s propoganda arm at ESPN. They probably had someone from the Red Sox review the tapes of the incident like they had a Director of the Board of the Red Sox lead the steroid investigation. If this were Ozzie Guillien or any other manager, there would have been a fine AND a suspension. If MLB really thought that Joe West was such a problem, they would suspend him- not just do everything they can to protect the interests of the Red Sox.

    • Panda Claus - May 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      If John Wilkes Booth was in the Umpires Union [and still alive today], he’d be unpunished for his deeds.

      Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but the point is that this Union protects its own beyond normal limits. And that makes the bad umpires seem just as capable as the ones that are bums. That’s not right..

    • jwbiii - May 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      Right. Because outside of Manny Alexander, José Canseco, Paxton Crawford, Roger Clemens, Chris Donnels, Jeremy Giambi, Mike Lansing, Josias Manzanillo, Kent Mercker, Mike Stanton, Mo Vaughn, Steve Woodard, and Eric Gagne, there were no Red Sox or former Red Sox mentioned in the Mitchell report.

  11. schmedley69 - May 12, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    MLB Umpire: one of the few jobs in America where you can completely suck at your job AND be a total a-hole and not get fired. Must be nice.

  12. mornelithe - May 13, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    I don’t see how their record of fines being made public will do anything to their reputation, honestly. Fans aren’t stupid, replays don’t lie, and a proven track record can actually make disciplinary procedures pretty easy. But, it’s not like we don’t see when they do something stupid. And knowing they took a hit, might actually soothe some feathers amongst the fans.

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