Friday, January 3, 2020

Joe West Class - Three Responsibilities of Umpires

MLB's longest-ever serving umpire, Joe West, spoke during a recent White Sox Talk podcast to offer advice to young umpires by outlining an ump's three responsibilities.

West's baseball discussion—with stories of the 2005 World Series, balks and ejections of Mark Buehrle and Ozzie Guillen, his friendship with Hawk Harrelson (the podcast got Harrelson's side of the story in 2017), filming "Naked Gun," and robot umpires—with NBC Sports Chicago host Chuck Garfien landed on the nature of an umpire's job, which West took as an opportunity to dole out a curriculum of umpiring advice about the three responsibilities of officiating.

Your first responsibility is to the game of baseball.
Said West, "You're gonna have to make some tough decisions."

Your second responsibility is to your profession.
"You can't make calls [thinking] they're not going to argue with me if I make this call, like the phantom play at second base where the fielder's off the bag. You have to say that he didn't touch the bag. If you call a guy out, no one says a word even though you're wrong, so why don't you call it right and take whatever little heat there is, and be right?"

Your third responsibility is to do what in your heart is morally and honestly correct.

Video snippet and full episode of West's interview as follows:

Alternate Link, Video Snippet: Joe West's 3 Responsibilities of Umps (CCS/NBC Sports Chicago)
Full Episode: CWS Talk Podcast: Mending Fences with Umpire Joe West (NBC Sports Chicago)


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