Joe West Explains White Sox Ejections, Could Face Discipline
Guillen might be right about that point. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that a publicist listing West as a client issued a release about West working this weekend's Red Sox-Royals series and letting media outlets know that the arbiter was available for interviews. This is the first Sox series West is working since he called them and the Yankees "pathetic" for playing long games.
His publicist also landed him a slot on the Chicago's "Waddle and Silvy" radio show where he gave his side of the story about what happened during Wednesday's game.
"The pitcher balked, and I called a balk, and he balked a second time and he got ejected for throwing his glove," West said. "Ozzie came out to protect his pitcher [after the first balk], which was probably a good idea at the time, because Buehrle was drawing lines in dirt on the mound [to show he's not moving his leg past where the rules stipulate], and he was about to get ejected then. [Guillen] even said he was out there not to argue the balk but to protect his pitcher, which he should come out in that situation. I said, 'Everything is OK now, Ozzie, you can go back to the dugout.' And he got mad, because I told him you can go back. He used a few profanity-laced lines and that got him ejected."
It all sounds pretty reasonable, except for the fact that it really seems like West was looking for a fight. No pitcher has had multiple balks called against them in the same game since 1993 and Buehrle has never had a reputation as a pitcher who balks. He's a lefty and, like many lefties, a lot of his throws to first are borderline, but before Wednesday he'd been called for one balk in the last three years. On top of all that, the glove toss was hardly an egregious act of protest.
Major League Baseball seems to agree that something seems hinky about the way things went down. MLB director of discipline Bob Watson said that the league will review tapes of the incident and decide whether West deserves any punishment for what went down on the field in Cleveland.
Don't expect to hear about the results of the investigation, though. Umpire discipline remains confidential, presumably so the league can say that all of their umpires are equals when it comes to their ability to call a game. The lack of transparency winds up demeaning the entire group, though, because they are all lumped into one pile without much need for anyone to change the way they do their job because they aren't held publicly accountable.