Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Is This Gerry Davis & Joe West's Final Season?

Is this it for senior-most MLB umpires Gerry Davis and Joe West? Davis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he has informed Major League Baseball 2020 will likely be his final season...that is, if it ever gets played. Both veteran crew chiefs are chasing umpiring milestones: Bill Klem's all-time games umpired record for West and 5,000 career games for Davis.

While Davis explained that, under normal circumstances, the 2020 season would be his last, he also left the door open to returning to the field in 2021 in the event that he is unable to crack the 5,000-games mark in 2020: he might even make his 5,000th game his last.

West trails only Hall of Fame Umpire Bill Klem in all-time regular season games officiated, and seems unlikely to retire until earning the all-time top spot...perhaps even longer.

And, realistically, how much of a let-down would it be to see either legendary umpire without a proper celebration in stadiums full of fans: As Davis quipped in his Post article, he might achieve the 5,000-mark during a game at a neutral site without fans. That's not what a 5,000-gamer (or in West's case, the #1 all-time games worked leader) deserves.

Even our friend Bob Davidson got a shoutout via the Angel Stadium public address in his final game.

With both Davis and West less than 100 games each from accomplishing their varied goals (Davis needs 43 more games to get 5,000 while West needs 60 for his goal of 5,370 career regular season games officiated [per MLB; it's 5,375 according to Retrosheet]) and the Minor Leagues reportedly ready to contract and eliminate many lower-league teams (thus, umpiring jobs), the baseball landscape appears poised for a change upon sports' eventual post-COVID resumption.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Davis, West, Promotions, Hires & MiLB Contraction (oh my)? (CCS)
Related Link: Angel Hernandez Lawsuit Memorandum Referred to in Video

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