Cowboy Joe West is Officially in Trouble With Major League Baseball
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the league has reprimanded the outspoken arbiter and is now figuring out whether they want to suspend or fine him. As it turns out, West's antics during Wednesday's game are the least of their worries. What's really got the league brass steamed is the way West pimped himself out for interviews in advance of working this weekend's Red Sox series so he could fan the flames he lit by calling the team "pathetic and embarrassing" for playing long games with the Yankees.
"He seems to have forgotten the cardinal rule of umpiring: stay invisible," Passan writes. "Anonymity is godliness to baseball's arbiters, and Joe West is an infidel, an attention whore of Lady Gaga proportions whose proclivity for theatrics shames the umpiring profession."
If the league does follow through and drop the hammer on West, it is long overdue. When umpires become part of the story of games something has gone wrong because, as Passan writes, they aren't there to be seen. West has a habit of making himself part of the story with alarming frequency, to the point where merely seeing that he is working a game elicits a sigh and shake of the head as you wonder how he'll inject himself into the proceedings that night.
The fact that he now uses his job as an umpire as a springboard for his other job only makes matters worse. Every time West makes a spectacle of himself now brings questions about whether he's even considering the game in front of him or if he's just trying to get face time to move a few CDs come the offseason.
That's unacceptable from someone whose job requires that they remain above suspicion and hopefully this is high noon for the Cowboy.