Joe West said in June that Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was MLB's biggest complainer. Now the veteran umpire has been given something about which to complain: a three-game suspension for those comments. As reported Tuesday by the Los ...
Be the first to know about new stories from PowerPost. Sign up to follow, and we’ll e-mail you free updates as they’re published.
You’ll receive free e-mail news updates each time a new story is published.
You’re all set!
By Des Bieler By Des Bieler August 8 at 11:24 PM
Joe West worked his first MLB game in 1976. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)
Joe West said in June that Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was MLB’s biggest complainer. Now the veteran umpire has been given something about which to complain: a three-game suspension for those comments.
As reported Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times’s Bill Shaikin, who cited information from the World Umpires Association, the MLB commissioner’s office gave West the ban for creating an “appearance of lack of impartiality” toward Beltre and the Rangers. The union said that West, who was set to umpire a Dodgers-Diamondbacks series in Phoenix, began serving his suspension Tuesday.
West’s remarks were published by USA Today in a June 20 article pegged to his 5,000th MLB game. The 64-year-old West, who began working major league games in 1976, became just the third umpire to reach that mark, after Bill Klem (5,369; 1905-1941) and Bruce Froemming (5,163; 1971-2007).
Under a section titled “Biggest complainer,” West was quoted as saying, “It’s got to be Adrian Beltre. 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.’ ’’
USA Today noted that West subsequently clarified that he and Beltre were on “friendly terms,” but MLB took a dim, if somewhat slow to unfold, view of those comments. The WUA, per Shaikin, then expressed its own disappointment with the punishment.
“As MLB umpires, we take our commitment to impartiality very seriously,” the union said in a statement. “Umpires engage professionally and cordially with hundreds of players and managers every day. Joking interactions between umpires and players are a routine part of the game.
“We disagree strongly with the decision to punish Joe West simply for sharing a humorous exchange with a player.”
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Beltre said Tuesday that the suspension was unnecessary. The third baseman, who recently became the 31st MLB player to accumulate 3,000 hits, added that West told him during a Rangers series in July that he was kidding.
Read more about baseball:
More whiffs, walks and long balls: Baseball faces an existential crisis
Mark it down — MLB’s pennant races are already over
Anthony Rendon shouldn’t bat sixth or second for the Nats. He should bat first.
Spoiler alert: Noah Syndergaard throws a spear in his ‘Game of Thrones’ cameo
You must be logged in to report a comment.
Sign in here
Comments our editors find particularly useful or relevant are displayed in Top Comments, as are comments by users with these badges: . Replies to those posts appear here, as well as posts by staff writers.
Six middle fingers on Snapchat lead to disqualification of Junior League softball team
The top three takeaways from Tuesday’s Redskins training camp practice
Analysis Mark it down: MLB’s pennant races are already over.
A.J. Cole, depleted Nationals give uneven performance in loss to Marlins
Hope Solo says she hasn’t retired, wants to play in 2019 World Cup
Stats, scores and schedules
mlb,baseball,joe west,adrian beltre,west beltre,texas rangers,west suspended,