Sunday, April 11, 2010

Umpire Joe West advised to quiet public criticism

  • West appears to be an example of "social promotion" in MLB, moving up in seniority while lacking merit as he even has trouble physically moving around the baseball field to observe events.
Bill Madden: "But getting back to (Joe) West, who has demonstrated throughout the years to have the innate capacity to turn a small controversy into a full-blown firestorm, by ripping the Yankees and Red Sox he's put himself into a compromising position from now on when he's assigned to their games. As one high level major league official told me:
  • Essentially, he was told his heart was in the right place but he just can't be saying these things, so zip it.

And West, if he ever looked in the mirror, should realize

How many times over the years has he created needless delays by instigating brouhahas? A prime example of that was 1995 at Shea Stadium in between games of a doubleheader when West, who was the home plate umpire, started in on Mets' third-base coach Bobby Wine for being a couple of minutes late bringing out the lineup card. At first Wine thought he was kidding but then things got heated and suddenly West ejected him. That brought Mets manager Dallas Green out of the dugout whereupon West ejected him as well.

But despite West's outspoken and confrontational behavior over the years,

  • MLB has seen fit to make him a crew chief. Had he not been a crew chief, no one would have had any reason to solicit his opinion the other day.

In truth, West should not even be umpiring any more.

And this brings up another issue which baseball supposedly resolved last winter, but apparently didn't, and that's the business of getting over-the-hill, overweight and consistently low-graded umpires off the field by making them supervisors. After firing former umpires-turned-supervisors Richie Garcia, Jim McKean and Marty Springstead and essentially making them the scapegoats for all the blown calls in the postseason last year, MLB is now going to make Chuck Meriwether a new supervisor. Meriwether is consistently one on the lowest-graded umpires in the game and is sitting out the year with a chronic back injury....

  • Word is Steve Palermo, the former umpire now a supervisor, was sent home and muzzled by MLB after his comments in USA Today defending umpires Tim McClelland and Phil Cuzzi, who were involved in two of the more egregious blown calls in the postseason last year.

In all likelihood, Palermo will now be following Richie Garcia, Jim McKean and Marty Springstead out the door."...


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