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The Left Field Corner
MLB Umpire Ejection Fantasy League
Ejections: Joe West (2, 3) 
26th-May-2010 01:30 pm
Umpire Pic
1B Umpire Joe West ejected White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen for arguing a balk call in the bottom of the 2nd inning and White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle for arguing a balk call in the bottom of the 3rd inning of the White Sox-Indians game. In the 2nd, with two out and one on, Buehrle attempted to pick off Indians designated hitter Matt LaPorta at first base on a 1-2 count. Replays indicate Buehrle failed to come to a complete stop (set) prior to delivery/flinched his left (pivot) leg in a motion associated with his delivery prior to making his throw to first base, the call was correct. 2B Umpire Angel Hernandez mirrored this balk call. In the 3rd, with one out and one on, Buehrle attempted to pick off Indians shortstop Jason Donald at first base on a 0-1 count. Replays are not definitive regarding this play though West most likely ruled a balk under Rule 8.05(a) and/or 8.05(c) in that Buehrle may have stepped towards home plate instead of towards first base (45 degree line), the call is inconclusive. The call is now correct per UEFL Rule 7.a.ii. At the time of the ejections, the contest was tied, 0-0. The White Sox ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

These are Joe West (22)'s second and third ejections of 2010.
Joe West now has 11 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (3 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call + 2 MLB + 2 Correct* Call = 11).
Joe West is owned as a Primary Umpire by CAScreaminDude, ump_24, and yaw4god_emt, who are now tied for 1st place in the UEFL with 11 points.
Joe West is owned as a Secondary Umpire by scumpire, who is now in 5th place in the UEFL with 8 points.
The first call references MLB Rule 8.01(b) and 8.05(a).
The second call references MLB Rule 8.05(a) and/or 8.05(c).
Quality of Correctness (2nd Call) was not challenged and reverted ("Inconclusive" ==> "Correct")

These are the 47th and 48th ejections of 2010.
This is the 20th player ejection of 2010.
This is the 25th Manager ejection of 2010.

Wrap: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2010_05_26_chamlb_clemlb_1

Video (1): http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8363039

Video (2): http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8363395

Video (2.1): http://www.twitvid.com/CKP4W

Video (12): http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8366649
Comments 
26th-May-2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I noticed that Angel Hernandez was taking an active role in breaking up these arguments. Perhaps this is a definite sign that he's training for a crew chief promotion next season.
28th-May-2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Anonymous
Who would have thought a few months into the season that Angel Hernandez would be the calmest umpire on his crew?
26th-May-2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Wow. Idiotic announcers.
26th-May-2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I agree the first one is a balk, sure. Pause it at 1 second in and you can clearly see why.

The second one... I wish they showed a different angle. It's just not clear enough to tell from that view, but it looks like Joe got that right, too. The usual broadcast angle would have been nice though, but OF COURSE the replay is from the White Sox telecast, and they're notorious for not showing a replay that might make Hawk look like an idiot (remember when West ejected Ozzie for arguing a GOOD obstruction call a few years back during a CHC-CWS game? And how the Cubs broadcast showed the whole play including the obstruction, while the White Sox broadcast showed the replay... starting about 2 seconds AFTER the obstruction had occurred?)
26th-May-2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I have to agree, that the second call was also right. It looked like his stride was to home plate and not to first. You throw anything in a show of disrespect, and your gonna have a short day. Is it me, but judging by the number, and the volume of ejections, that the umpires are trying to send a message early in the season?
26th-May-2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
By this time last season, we had seen 46 ejections, so we're fairly on course for last year's performance.
27th-May-2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Anonymous
Those announcers are annoying bias..I understand they are home announcers so they have loyalty,and probably work for the white sox,but they need to pull their head out and be more objective.

The one replay the did show of the second one,it looks like the foot was even with the kneecap,which makes it close. I agree that the first one appeared to be a balk..The second one was borderline,but as we all know,Joe West doesn't take much,so after Ozzie flipped Joe off,Joe probably stuck it to the team.

It seems like the number 2 guy is responsible for breaking up an argument between the CC and whoever. When Tim Welke got into a heated argument earlier in the season Jim Reynolds the number 2 on the crew came in..

Speaking of Hahn...He has behaved himself,so he be doing that to show he's capable of becoming a crew chief.
27th-May-2010 01:04 am (UTC)
Anonymous
I truly think with Bill Hohn, the mustache gave him the power of ejection.
27th-May-2010 02:10 am (UTC)
Anonymous

(Anonymous)
2010-05-27 12:29 am UTC (link)
Those announcers are annoying bias..I understand they are home announcers so they have loyalty,and probably work for the white sox,but they need to pull their head out and be more objective.

Why???And get fired???

27th-May-2010 03:35 am (UTC)
Anonymous
"Replays indicate Buehrle failed to come to a complete stop (set) prior to delivery..."

There is no requirement that a pitcher come to a stop prior to throwing to a base.
27th-May-2010 04:24 am (UTC)
Anonymous
That just proves that if he had decided to pitch the ball, it would have also been a balk.
27th-May-2010 04:37 am (UTC)
Anonymous
Yeah, where in that rule does it say that he has to come to a complete stop before attempting a pickoff to a base? Rule 8.05(m) says that he has to come to a complete stop before delivering the pitch, it doesn't say that he has to come to a complete stop to pickoff.
27th-May-2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Anonymous
I don't think it's necessarily saying that's what caused the balk call, moreso it's just a narration of what happened. With the word "delivery" being used, I think it's quite apparent that the way it's written suggests that the pitcher deceived the runner by using a motion (ie: delivery) that is considered part of the natural pitching motion. Pausing the video at 0:01 also confirms this.
27th-May-2010 05:14 am (UTC) - Joe
Anonymous
These announcers are what is really "a joke." Get a grip, and "go announce". That is horrible broadcasting when you personally insult the game officials.
27th-May-2010 05:14 am (UTC) - Announce
Anonymous
These announcers are what is really "a joke." Get a grip, and "go announce". That is horrible broadcasting when you personally insult the game officials.
27th-May-2010 06:30 am (UTC) - About Joe West
Anonymous
He's a good umpire when he wants to be, but he too often decides to be part of the game instead of just umpiring the game. That second balk call was unnecessary and antagonistic on a borderline call. The first call looks correct.
27th-May-2010 08:41 am (UTC)
Anonymous
The first was absolutely a balk, the second was more borderline, but technically, it was also a balk. Problem is Joe was in that mindset, and Buehrle was on thin ice the whole time. Something was going to happen eventually.
27th-May-2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
The second balk call (and probably the first as well) was for his stepping more toward home than first, as shown on the "low third base" camera replay.
27th-May-2010 11:11 pm (UTC) - Consistency across the board
Anonymous
Joe West is administering to the letter of the rule in interpretation. Whether that's his personal style or he's interested in sending a message is mostly irrelevant. Both of the balks were fairly straight-forward, IMHO.

The other problem is that these balks AREN'T being called by the majority of other umpires. Both of these are not unique, even if you ignore the announcers you have to assume that these motions are standard procedure for Buerhle. I know that I've seen him execute both of these several times and have always thought they were close.

Consistency across the umpire profession is really what's at stake here. Obviously, you can't legislate judgment. However, you can set better guidelines and enforce the guidelines. This happens with other judgment situations - and it should be focused on here.
28th-May-2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Anonymous
Whether a suspension is outrageous or not for Mr. West, the latest rumour I heard says it might very well happen. Either that or a fine.
28th-May-2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
The issue he's in trouble for is the comments about the Red Sox-Yankees comments and the additional recent comments after his publicist (an umpire needs a publicist?!) let it slip that he would be working a Red Sox game for the first time since then. It has nothing to do with the balk ejections--he didn't do anything wrong there.
28th-May-2010 11:58 pm (UTC) - fined, not suspended
Anonymous
Joe West has been fined by MLB, not suspended.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/05/guillen-buehrle-west-fined-not-suspended.html
1st-Jun-2010 06:24 pm (UTC) - Publicist
Anonymous
Joe is one of the best umpires in the game as well as for the umpiring community. He worked last years WS and was voted the head of the WUA. But, c'mon Cowboy, you don't need the publicist.Call the games as good as you do and that will allow for all the attention-or lack thereof- that you need or should want.
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