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Joe West Advances to ALCS
2005-10-10 22:21
by Mike Carminati

Joe West, in a daring display of umpiring, wrested control of the Yankees-Angels deciding game five tonight away from the players and, in unprecedented fashion, become the first ump to single-handedly win a postseason series. He will met the White Sox in Chicago tomorrow with Joe West getting the start. Actually, Joe West will play every position a la Bugs Bunny and will also call balls and strikes.

West appeared drained as he left the field, saying, "Well, I left it all out on the field. It's hard work keeping the strike zone constantly shifting. A few hitters locked in up there. It was great Having McCarver and Buck up in the booth agreeing with every ridiculous call though. Those guys were great. And guys like Matsui—what did he strand 8 baserunners—and A-Rod. They really helped. I couldn't do it alone."

West's best and most controversial play of the night was in the fifth. With the Yankees trailing, 5-2, Alex Rodriguez lead off by getting hit by a pitch and Jason Giambi singled to right. After Sheffield softly flied out to left and Matsui popped up. Robinson Cano swung at strike three but the ball got away from catcher Bengie Molina, and Cano ran down the line apparently reaching first safely while Molina's throw got away from first baseman Darrin Erstad.

"I really had to step in there. Cano was running slightly inside of the line, but that really had no bearing on the play. Besides that was on the first half of the distance to first when the rule doesn't apply. He ran more on the line or slightly to the right of the line for the second half. Besides when the ball came in when Cano was a few feet from first, and of course, the runner does have to run outside of the basepath when he touches the base, but doggone it, that's what's great about having judgment calls on your side.

"I mean, when the runner is cringing trying to avoid the throw and the ball is nowhere near the fielder, it's tough to go for the interference call, but god willing, it was there and I jumped at it.

"I thought I might be pushing it after calling Cano for leaving the bag too early in game two when a slow-motion replay was inconclusive and a middle infielder typically is in the vicinity of second without necessarily touching it on a good percentage of calls. You know, going to the Cano well to many times. But it's a good thing that us umps are bigger than the game itself."

The rule in question is 6.05 k which reads:

In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of) the three foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire's judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base; except that he may run outside (to the right of) the three foot line or inside (to the left of) the foul line to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball.

When asked what kind of game his game one opponent Jose Contreras would have Tuesday night, West was overcome with peals of laughter, but he contained himself to say, "I'll take my chances. Right now, I'm just enjoying this one."

2005-10-10 22:51:30
1.   nyny7
What a travesty - this joke of an umpire obviously had a bet on the angels... that call that robbed the Yankees of bases loaded was unbeliveable... he should be fired and let him live on his angels winnings. It's a shame when there is no integrity left...
2005-10-11 05:19:01
2.   rbj
Thanks for an objective view that West screwed up. I thought so too, but being a Yankee fan I can't consider me objective. And that was the break the Yankees were looking for.
2005-10-11 05:19:18
3.   ChuckM
The best umpires are the ones that you never hear about. Seems like there are always a couple that seem to think they NEED to be involved. Seems like almost every game I watch I see either West's ugly mug or Angel Hernandez getting into it w/a player or manager because of a call they made. Just a terrible call
2005-10-11 06:47:54
4.   22Ryan
I must have missed something. Was Cano not clearly inside the line? Just because some rule is unevenly enforced doesn't make its enforcement unfair. Just because he had a shitty angle to make the call doesn't make it the wrong call.

At the risk of offending the host, it's like Joe Morgan getting pissed at umpires for having the temerity to not call an out on a DP at second when the middle infielder clearly missed the bag.

2005-10-11 07:53:52
5.   JohnnyBlaster
Riiight...Joe West lost the game.

Forget about A-Rod's terrible performance. And Matsui stranding 8. And the bone headed play of Giambi. And the ball Sheffield dropped (PRIOR to the collision.) And the poor throw from Bubba on the sac fly.'s all Joe West's fault.


2005-10-11 07:54:17
6.   3dsteve
Too bad Lou Pinella was not managing last night.
He would have cursed, kicked dirt, cut off West's head and spit in his neck. He might have even got thrown out of the game and woke up the team by doing so.

Instead we got a response equivalent ot a boring blob of oatmeal. Time to retire Number 6 to the left field wall.

2005-10-11 08:03:41
7.   Beth
oh, yeah, it had nothing to do with mussina shitting the bed or a-rod GIDP at the end or the angels actually, you know, having a good team.

isn't there already a yankees blog on baseball toaster?

2005-10-11 08:18:13
8.   Mike Carminati
By the way, that's Beth who is a Red Sox fan with a potty mouth. I respectfully request that she do an unspeakable act to herself. Like have an unbiased view.
2005-10-11 08:19:24
9.   Murray
Mike, this was funny not only for calling out West for his incompetence and the inflated sense of self-importance he brings to his work, but also for lampooning Yankee fans who think that they lost exclusively because of Joe West. Satire is often wasted on its audience, so you clearly did a fine job.
2005-10-11 09:10:44
10.   Jen
Nice job Mike. Very funny.
2005-10-11 10:12:16
11.   3dsteve
It's Umpires like Joe West that make a good case for Replay Rules in baseball.
2005-10-11 11:04:50
12.   Ken Arneson
Joe East obviously sucks. Joe West is ok, but right now, I'd put my money on Joe Central. He's had time to set up his rotation.
2005-10-11 12:03:06
13.   JeremyM
It was a bad call for sure, but the Yanks would've had the bases loaded with Bernie Williams on deck and 2 outs. It's not like Bernie was ripping the cover off the ball. It probably would've just added to the LOB total for the night.

That said, that guy is the worst ump in the league. I shouldn't even know umps names, yet this guy pops up every 3 weeks or so with some crap.

Tough loss for Yankee fans, but I guess there's no such thing as an easy loss. A-Rod I can see choking, but seeing Matsui like that was tough. Anyway, funny post!

2005-10-11 12:03:40
14.   JeremyM
Oops, that should've said "with Bernie William up to bat" not on deck.

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