Longtime umpire Joe West was suspended for three days after calling Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre the biggest complainer in baseball.
Joe West, who has served Major League Baseball as an umpire for more than 40 years, was suspended for three days after making comments about Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.
According to USA Today via ESPN, West said Beltre is the biggest complainer in the sport. Beltre joined baseball’s 3,000-hit club on July 30.
“I told him, ‘You may be a great ballplayer, but you’re the worst umpire in the league. You stink,’’ West said of Beltre. The umpire later said he and Beltre were on friendly terms.
According to the World Umpires Union, which is in charge of MLB’s umpires, the 64-year-old West was informed of his suspension last week and started serving his suspension Tuesday. West umpired his first game in 1976 and has worked the third-most regular season and second-most playoff games.
“Joking interactions between umpires and players are a routine part of the game,” the union said in a statement. “We disagree strongly with the decision to punish Joe West simply for sharing a humorous exchange with a player.”
This is not the first time West has been suspended. He received a one-game ban in 2014 for grabbing Phillies reliever Jonathan Papelbon’s jersey during an argument. West had previously ejected Papelbon for making an obscene gesture.
All in all, this seems like MLB taking a hardline stance on an issue that may not warrant such a response. West isn’t the type of umpire who gets upset unless provoked and Beltre is level-headed as well (unless you try to mess up his hair).
After Texas won in New York on Wednesday to split two games against the Mets, Beltre and the Rangers play at home again Friday against the Astros. West is eligible to resume his umpiring duties on Friday.