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Joe West’s crew strikes again

Jul 6, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

Jim Leyland, Joe West

As I mentioned in the recaps this morning there were ejections a-plenty in the Tigers-Angels game. In fact, there was one more than I had mentioned. Rick Porcello‘s ejection wasn’t listed in the notes to the box score, seeing as though he wasn’t in the game at the time.  All in all:

  • Jim Leyland got ejected by Joe West after the final out in sixth inning, likely arguing about how Angel Hernandez made Justin Verlander get rid of a baseball he rubbed up behind the mound prior to a pitch. Which is not something I believe I’ve ever seen;
  • Verlander was ejected when he yelled at Angel Hernandez when he was leaving the mound in the eighth. Leaving the mound because he was leaving the game, having been lifted for a reliever.  Why an umpire feels it necessary to eject a guy who is heading to the showers is an open question;
  • As mentioned above, Rick Porcello was ejected in the ninth inning for yelling something from the dugout; and
  • On the Angels’ side, Bobby Abreu was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called strike.

Whenever I bring up this kind of thing someone comments that players and managers shouldn’t be disrespectful to umpires, going crazy arguing and all of that.  And that’s true.  But it’s also true that, as an official, an umpire needs to be a bigger man and not get all bent out of shape when the people he’s officiating offend his sensibilities.

This stuff happens with Joe West and Angel Hernandez way more than it happens with anyone else.  Someone should probably tell them that no one comes out to the ballpark see them run people, and no one likes it when games are decided in part because players and coaches are absent due to being ejected.

UPDATE: And don’t forget to check out the Joe West ejection counter over at The Platoon Advantage. It’s actually a pretty eye-opening look at what West and Co. are really up to.

  1. catsmeat - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    MLB needs to just create one all-star supervillain umpiring crew to consolidate the worst. Angel, “Country” Joe, Balkin’ Bob and, I dunno, CB Bucknor? Just put the worst of the worst in one crew and keep their damage to a minimum.

    Also, robots.

    • jgraening - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      Phil “3-ball walk” Cuzzi gets my vote for the worst of the worst crew. Joe Mauer’s ALDS “foul” ball call still burns me to this day.

      • FC - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        In fairness, both the Catcher AND the Pitcher missed it as well and didn’t even react to the walk call. As a matter of fact NO ONE from the fielding team complained after the bogus call, not even the manager. To my point of view if you can’t be bothered to be aware of your balls and strikes and point out the obvious to the Umpire you deserve to get screwed.

      • FC - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Wait a minute… am I confusing 3-ball walk events?

      • FC - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM

        Nope, I am talking about the Maybin event and Cuzzi had the count right only he thought he made a mistake when the scoreboard operator had 3-2 on the display. So really the Mariners fell asleep on the wheel and crashed and burned.

      • Glenn - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        Just how would one walk with three balls?

      • marinersnate - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        I totally agree with FC. Maybin’s 3 ball walk is totally on the Mariners. If no one on the field OR in the dugout can be bothered to keep track of the count, you deserve what you get. It does add injury to insult that Maybin comes around to score and the M’s lose 1-0. But it is on the M’s pitcher, catcher, and coaches to point out such stupidity to the umps. I also think that the Safeco scoreboard operator should be demoted to AAA (if he is not out of options).

      • jgraening - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        @FC – So what you are saying is that it’s the Mariners fault, and not the fault of the umpire, that a batter walked on three pitches? What would have happened if they argued it? Probably would have got tossed from the game. Even with the scoreboard showing the wrong count, the umpire crew, especially the home plate umpire, should always know what the count is at all times. It’s part of their jobs.

      • FC - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        @jgraening What I’m saying is if the Mariner’s had noticed, rightfully pointed it out and complained, then we would have every right to bash Cuzzi for being a tool (And who knows, if they do tell him Cuzzi might think: hmm so I wasn’t wrong when I kept the count in my head).

        But when the guys didn’t even notice how can you rag on the Umpire for not seeing something YOU DIDN’T EVEN SEE YOURSELF?

  2. mcs7584 - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Maybe it’s time to write an open letter to MLB. Post it here on HBT or on it’s own domain so that anyone, everywhere can find it and sign it. The only way this is going to change is if fans speak out in VOLUMES. After all, every decision MLB makes is based on fan experience, right? (Well, right after financial considerations, of course.) So if MLB is at all serious about listening to its customers (us!) then perhaps there needs to be a more organized vocal response to these particular umpires. They’re awful and I don’t know of anyone, except maybe their moms, who’d say otherwise.

    • Matt - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Two issues: 1) Have you ever known an open letter to do anything other than take up internet space? and 2) My understanding is that MLB doesn’t have much authority to do anything about West and Co. even if they want to due to the Umpiring union having a high degree of autonomy. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong as to the 2nd point.

  3. sknut - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    How much longer can they let this go on? Its a joke that seemingly every week we have another Joe/Angel are at it again, like they are solely out to destroy the creditbility of MLB. And to throw Verlander out when he is being taken out of the game is a joke beyond belief, just let him vent at you and take it like a man.

    • mcs7584 - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      I don’t know what’s more egregious: Angel tossing Verlander after he’d been pulled from the game or West baiting Leyland by walking over to the dugout to incite the argument. Maybe teams should start playing all games called by the crew under protest. Just flat-out refuse to play. Even take the loss as a forfeit.

      • FC - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        No team will forfeit to make a point about an umpire but there has to be some way to put these people on notice. The best umpire is the anonymous umpire.

    • Panda Claus - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM

      Not to be confused with Joe Angel, fine broadcasting voice for the Orioles.

  4. danberman4 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    The worst two umpires in baseball. It’s absurd West and Hernandez have jobs.
    http://pinetarandbrickbats.blogspot.com/2011/05/joe-west-power-mad-ump.html

    • shaggylocks - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      It’s particularly maddening when you think about the fact that there are probably a ton of superb umpires stuck at the AAA level who are blocked by these two major league lifers.

  5. marshmallowsnake - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    “Why an umpire feels it necessary to eject a guy who is heading to the showers is an open question” – is there a fine involved? Maybe it was done out of spite or to get the last laugh?

  6. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Imagine being a teenager and having one of these guys for a parent. If you tried to argue with them would they throw you out of the house?

  7. trevorb06 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    You know how Joyce can’t ump Armando’s games anymore due to ‘commercial interests’ in their book. Shouldn’t the same rule apply to Country Joe? He shouldn’t be able to manage ANY games due to ‘commercial interest’ in getting his name known for his music gig. The bigger villian he is out there, the more people know his name and the more people google him to find out he makes music. Would it be too far fetched that he’s just trolling for google hits so more people know his name? I think not.

    Then again. Like a lot of things… I’m probably wrong. Still worth a thought though. Craig?

    • trevorb06 - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      I am actually being legitimate in this post. If anybody with greater knowledge has any insight on this I’d actually be extremely interested to hear it.

  8. pellypell - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Players and managers shouldn’t be disrespectful to umpires, going crazy arguing and all of that.

    • bh0673 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Pelly baseball is a game of emotions and there was a time umpires didn’t have the power they have. Since they have been bestowed with their supremacy for some umpires it has gone to their heads. Joe West and Angel Hernandez are a disgrace and have their own agenda. They both shoud be run out of baseball and they both have a history of ruining a game for the fans.

      • pellypell - Jul 6, 2011 at 8:13 PM

        I understand. Go read the article again, my post was a joke based on what Craig said. I completely agree with you.

  9. umrguy42 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    So, what did Porcello get tossed for?

  10. frankvzappa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    I would like to see both benches empty and all parties go after Angel and West, hopefully during a Reds game so Cueto gets some good shots in.

  11. The Rabbit - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Because it seems that MLB chooses not to do anything about this problem, we fans need to make incompetence entertaining.

    I suggest a drinking game similar to the one that existed during the first run of the X-Files. Make sure you have a designated driver if Joe West or Angel Hernandez are in the crew. Drink responsibly!

    Two shots: Replay shows the umpire incorrectly called a play at the bag or the plate.
    Two shots: Replay shows that a ball called foul was fair or vice versa.
    One shot: Questionable balk call
    One shot: Manager ejection
    Two shots: Player ejection
    Three shots: Player on bench ejected
    One shot: Every time an announcer mentions an inconsistent strike zone
    One shot: A walk or strikeout awarded incorrectly verified by the “pitch zone”
    One shot: Every time an announcer in a non-Yankee game mentions Derek Jeter
    One shot: Every time McCarver says “Speed slows down the game.”

    I’m sure everyone has a local announcer with cliches that they can add to the list.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

      I’m so stealing this game. Thanks in advance. Best post of the day (although I only read two today).

  12. markvin1234 - Jul 24, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Joe West is known as the best ball and strike umpire in the league. He doesn’t take any bull from the players and neither does his crew. The cry baby players and fans don’t like the fact that they are the most strict crew in baseball. Too bad. Keep crying when your favorite player doesn’t agree with Joe but Joe an crew will always be the winners.

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