Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Source - Joe West Suspended 3 Games for Beltre Comment

MLB suspended veteran umpire and crew chief Joe West for unsportsmanlike comments about Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, who learned of the suspension from the World Umpires Association (WUA). According to the report, the length of West's suspension is three games.

MLB has suspended Joe West for 3 games.
The WUA, whose President is none other than West himself, issued a statement conveying the union's disagreement with the suspension: "Joe West is the most senior umpire in our ranks, having served MLB since 1976, under six different baseball commissioners. Joe has upheld the rules of fair play for more than 5,000 Major League Baseball games, and is on his way to the record for most career games ever worked by an MLB umpire. He should be on the field today...We disagree strongly with the decision to punish Joe West simply for sharing a humorous exchange with a player."

The union contended that West's comments about Beltre were meant as a joke, and were taken as such by Rangers Manager Jeff Banister and by Beltre.

According to Shaikin, Major League Baseball declined to comment on the matter, although the League reportedly informed the umpires' union that West's comments created an "appearance of lack of impartiality." The League also failed to issue a Press Release regarding the suspension before it began on Tuesday. In general, the League has disclosed disciplinary actions imposed on umpires only if suspension is involved.

West was suspended in 2014 for one game.
The suspension effectively corresponds to this week's three-game Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks series in Arizona: the crew will instead feature veteran Alfonso Marquez working in West's place alongside West crew regulars Alan Porter and Hunter Wendelstedt. The fourth umpire, Rob Drake, is working in place of Andy Fletcher, whose absence is unrelated to the West suspension.

West and Beltre both reached significant milestones this season: West officiated his 5,000th game in June while Beltre recently collected his 3,000th career hit.

In an interview conducted with USA Today in anticipation of his momentous 5,000th game, West was asked about a variety of baseball subjects, and stated his belief that the biggest complainer in baseball is Beltre:
[The biggest whiner has] 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.”
MLB most recently suspended Joe West in 2014 for improper physical contact with a player during his ejection of Jonathan Papelbon earlier that September.


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