Saturday, May 4, 2013

9th Inning West-ern Becomes Twitter Show of Cowboy Joe

Umpire Joe West's return to the dish created a ninth inning spectacle after depleted Dodgers batsman Nick Punto stuck out looking in the frame's top half, Punto animatedly accosting West who removed his mask and gestured Punto away (Video: Punto gives West an earful, West gives Punto a wag of the finger). Accordingly, Giants fans spouted amusement ("Joe West with the, no, no, not today!") whereas Dodgers fans disgustedly denounced the warning as did CBS Sports (meanwhile UEFL fans hoped for an ejection).

West trends in LA and SF.
On April 28, umpire Alfonso Marquez employed a finger gesture of his own during an argument and subsequent ejection of Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire (MLB Ejection 025).

Giants' fans attitudes changed after West cautioned Giants reliever Sergio Romo several pitches later for attempting to quick pitch Dodgers batter Matt Kemp. Kemp had stepped out of the batter's box following a swinging strike—an acceptable act pursuant to OBR Rule 6.02(d)(1)(i)—and prior to Kemp becoming "reasonably set" upon returning, Romo assumed Set Position. Nonetheless, the legality of Kemp's actions (legal per 6.02(d)) was still questioned.

PFX indicates K3 was located outside.
Replays indicate the strike three pitch to Punto was located outside of the strike zone whereas Romo, had he been permitted to pitch, may have indeed violated Rule 8.05(e) pertaining to illegal pitches known as those of quick return. The rule explicitly states, "the quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted." On April 17, Bob Davidson referenced 8.01(b) in ruling an automatic ball after Mariners pitcher Oliver Perez was adjudged to have delivered a quick pitch in an effort to catch Tigers batter Victor Martinez off guard.

Derek C summed up his views on #Umpshow: "Took 8+ innings, but we finally get The Joe West Show in the 9th."

One fan put it bluntly, "Well Joe West Really (sic) sucks tonight." Another: "Joe West is awful." A third: "...idiot..." A fourth: "Dudes (sic) terrible." The bandwagoning rolls on.

Meanwhile, others disgracefully resorted to allusions of violence. On a slightly related note, this week, a Utah soccer referee was sucker punched into a coma while an ejected Jersey coach struck a teenage umpire.

Instead of baseless accusations, how about some concrete evidence to support the claim? Of two plays at the plate, West correctly ruled both runners out. Furthermore, Pitch f/x data indicates West officiated 151 out of 158 callable pitches correctly, for an accuracy rate of 95.6%. By comparison, MLB umpires averaged a low of 92.91% accuracy in 2003 before rising to an average of 95.38% in 2007.

Despite attacks to the contrary, West was named the most consistent umpire by the Hardball Times in 2007.

Wrap: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants, 5/3/13

On a related note, NBA referee Joe Crawford was also seen trending in the wake of these ejections, causing some tweeters to make the connection, "Joe West and Joey Crawford are related."

Others, still, were clearly left in the dark: "Joe West is the Jerry Crawford of umpires. And vice versa."


Gil Imber said...

Too close to take.

Gil Imber said...

Joe West is back shooing players to the dugout on a bad call.....I'm shocked.

His agent must have told him to go make a scene because CD sales were down.

Gil Imber said...

umm.. yeah.. to close to to take

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