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MLB Suspends Umpire Joe West Three Games for Talking Sh*t About Adrian Beltre
Ballplayers are always getting in trouble for arguing with or complaining about umpires. Today, for once, the shoe is on the other foot.
Major League Baseball suspended umpire Joe West for three games on Tuesday over criticism directed at Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.
The remarks came during an interview with USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale published on June 20. Nightengale asks West, who recently umpired his 5,000th game, who he thought was the game’s biggest complainer.
West’s answer was very forthcoming.
“It’s got to be Adrian Beltre,” he tells Nightengale. “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 World Umpires Association, which represents West, has issued a statement defending him.
“Joking interactions between umpires and players are a routine part of the game,” the union said. “We disagree strongly with the decision to punish Joe West simply for sharing a humorous exchange with a player.”
The union makes a good point. West’s answer was candid and not particularly mean-spirited. However, you know if somebody asked Adrian Beltre who’s the biggest showboat umpire in baseball, and he told a story about Joe West—because West is the biggest showboat umpire in baseball—the World Umpires Association would be having a cow.
And that, of course, is why MLB decided to suspend West. They understand that it’s a two-way street. If they’re going to suspend players for talking sh*t about umpires, they have to do the same when umpires talk sh*t about players.
Hat Tip – [Big League Stew]