4/12/10: "While I don't disagree with Mo at all, I found it highly uncharacteristic
of him to speak out like that. Then I thought back to a story told to me a couple years ago.
I was staying at a resort
- The morning after the Giants defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, I boarded a plane to Phoenix. I was a day late and several hundred (thousand?) dollars short for the feature event, but had a business trip planned nonetheless.
in Scottsdale, and one night upon returning there, I decided to hit up the hotel bar for a night cap. As I entered the lobby, I observed several signs adorned with the MLB logo, reading "Welcome Umpires". As it turned out,
Entering the bar
- the World Umpires Association was holding their annual meeting there.
, I met Marty Springstead, a long time American League umpire who retired in 1985 but worked as an umpiring supervisor until his termination this past off-season. Springstead was a friendly guy, and introduced me to a few of the other men in blue who were in the room: Richie Garcia, who made the infamous call on the Jeffrey Maier home run and later lost his job as part of the mass umpire resignations of 1999; Jim Wolf, brother of Brewers' pitcher Randy Wolf; Derryl Cousins,
Now, my recollection
of that evening isn't exactly airtight, and it was a brief conversation. But in light of the comments made by West and Rivera last week, I think it's worth recounting here.
I spent a few moments speaking with West and Cousins. When it came up that I am a Yankee fan,
Apparently, Mo squeezed in a couple extra warm up tosses
in the pen after he had been waved in. So when he got to the mound, West indicated to Mariano that he was only allowed six warm up tosses, rather than the customary eight. When Mariano protested,
West informed Mo that he was docking him the two extra pitches thrown in the pen. West also made a comment indicating that such gamesmanship was common
practice with Mariano.
- Clearly, this is just one story, about one game. But why would Joe West, upon meeting a complete stranger, at the mere mention of the Yankees, amongst all the stories he had accumulated in twenty nine years of umpiring,
- choose that story to tell?
And why would Mariano Rivera, after fifteen years in the daily
cauldron of the New York media, with all the various issues and controversies that have surrounded the Yankees during that time, choose Joe West's comments about the pace of play as the one issue about which to speak out? Could it be that there's more history between these
two than meets the eye? "
"Jason from The Heartland said...
Labels: Joe West words about Mariano Rivera at an umpires' gala