War Of Words Between Ozzie Guillen And Umpire Joe West Heats Up

Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle were tossed from Wednesday's game against the Indians. The altercation between Ozzie and umpire Joe West didn't end there, however.

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Joe West, Ozzie Guillen And Mark Buehrle All Will Be Fined, Not Suspended

Umpire Joe West will not be suspended after the altercation between him and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, but he will be a little lighter in the pockets according to a report from the Associated Press.

Joe West, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and pitcher Mark Buehrle have been fined by Major League Baseball for their recent balk flap.

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that there weren’t any suspensions. The amount of the fines imposed Friday was not known.

While it was originally assumed that the punishment would fall on just Guillen and West, Buehrle’s comments to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan Thursday likely fueled the fire.

“I think he’s too worried about promoting his CD,” Buehrle said, “and I think he likes seeing his name in the papers a little bit too much instead of worrying about the rules.”


More On Joe West's Likely Suspension

Jeff Passan’s Yahoo column, expanding on his tweet from yesterday, holds back no punches in blasting Joe West:

West carries the reputation as a poor umpire and grudge holder, and so his unceremonious tossing of Guillen and Buehrle surprised no one. West called a balk on Buehrle, whose pickoff move is recognized as one of the game’s best. It was a suspect-at-best call, or par for the course, and he tossed Guillen for protesting. When West flagged Buehrle for another balk – just a flat-out bad call – the pitcher, disgusted, softly flopped his glove on the ground. West ejected him, too.

Following the game, Guillen ranted like Guillen does: F-bombs in triplicate, and a few more words that would have made George Carlin proud. Buehrle’s reaction was far more telling. Rarely outspoken and always measured, Buehrle took to West with an incisive jab that showed what people inside the game think of him.

“I think he’s too worried about promoting his CD,” Buehrle said, “and I think he likes seeing his name in the papers a little bit too much instead of worrying about the rules.”

Buehrle, as Passan says, is normally very soft-spoken. But he is absolutely correct here. West is likely to be made an example.


MLB Likely To Discipline Joe West

Via tweet from Jeff Passan of Yahoo, it looks like Cowboy Joe isn’t going to get away with his gunslinging in Cleveland yesterday:

Source: Umpire Joe West to face discipline from MLB. Punishment will be suspension or fine. Umpires union and MLB talking about severity.

Firing would be good. West has been a terrible umpire for decades. Unbelievable that they rehired him after he was one of the mass-resignation umps in 1999.


This Is Not The First Time Ozzie Has Tangled With Joe West

Over at Chicago Breaking Sports, Mark Gonzales notes that Ozzie Guillen and Joe West have had incidents before. West has issued three of Ozzie’s 22 ejections over the years, including three in the last four years. West also has a history of incidents with other managers and teams.

Gonzales writes,

Nevertheless, this marked the third time in four years that Guillen was ejected by West.

It’s the same Joe West who body-slammed Philadelphia pitcher Dennis Cook during a brawl with the New York Mets in 1990. During the first series of the 2010 season, West described the slow pace of New York Yankees-Boston games as “pathetic and embarrassing.”


Mark Potash Lays Some Of The Blame At Joe West's Feet

Writing in the Sun Times today, Mark Potash comments on the Ozzie Guillen and Joe West situation. Potash says that while Ozzie and Buehrle were in the wrong for arguing, Joe West is the type of umpire who often creates controversy.

It was Joe West — again. He might have been right to call two balks on Buehrle, that’s his call to make. And he was right to toss Buehrle for throwing his glove in disgust — by rule, that’s an ejectionable offense.

But the guy has a habit of creating and/or exacerbating situations like this. His dismissive hand gestures, his body language, his smirk, and his attitude are more incendiary than any of Guillen’s profanity. He doesn’t get any respect because he doesn’t give any.

Potash writes that though West was to blame for some of the incident, both Guillen and Buehrle should have known that West has a short fuse, and should have avoided antagonizing him as they did.

I tend to agree with Potash on this one. At least, as far as blaming Joe West is concerned. Did Mark Buehrle commit two balks? Perhaps. The balk, like the checked swing, is one of those calls that is not enforced with any uniformity or consistency. It sometimes seems that umpires call these things because they have a grudge against a certain player or team, which is completely inappropriate.

As a general baseball fan, I’d like to watch a baseball game and not recall the names of the umpire crew who were officiating the next day. If I’m reading about the umpires, then, in my opinion they have not been doing their jobs with the neutrality and professionalism that should be expected of them.


ESPN Reporting That MLB Is Investigating Incident

ESPN is reporting that the MLB will review the actions of Ozzie Guillen, Mark Buehrle, and umpire Joe West that led to the ejections and altercations during Wednesday’s White Sox / Indians game in Cleveland.

Bruce Levine writes,

MLB director of discipline Bob Watson will meet with MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Jimmie Lee Solomon and review the tapes as well as reports sent to his office.

“We have either an umpire supervisor or umpire observer at every game,” Watson said. “We will review all information available and make a determination on what needs to be done.”

Watson said a decision could come as early as Friday afternoon.


MLB Investigating The Ozzie - West Altercation

Between the lights going out at Wrigley and the drama in Cleveland, Wednesday was a very interesting day for Chicago baseball. The White Sox / Indians game was entertaining for more than just the play on the field. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was tossed in the second inning by Joe West for disputing a balk call made by West against Mark Buehrle. In the very next inning, Buehrle himself was tossed for another balk after he dropped his glove on the mound and argued the call with West.

After the game, Ozzie had some choice, and slightly incomprehensible, words to say about the incident. As Joe Cowley reports in the Sun Times":

Guillen on why West tossed him: "Because he’s a f---ing a—hole, that’s what he is. I just went out to ask him … I wasn’t asking about the balk because you’re not allowed, anytime you go out there to ask about balk or whatever. The thing I went out to ask him about was why he was embarrassing Buehrle. I’m not going out to argue about the balk because the rule, but I went out to ask him why he’s embarrassing Buehrle and he give me one of this [dismissing him with his hands]. When you’re a professional and you have to respect the managers, the way we’re supposed to respect the umpires, they are supposed to respect back. … sometimes he thinks f---ing people pay to watch him f---ing umpire. He’s the type of guy that wants to control the game, it’s good for the game, and to me one of the best umpires in the game, no doubt. But in the meanwhile, those years are on his shoulders and kind of heavy and showing people who he is. I deserve respect and the players here deserve respect here, too. When you tell the manager to get the f--- off the field, I don’t think that’s a good way to handle situations. No matter what you say, what you do, how long you talk here, Major League Baseball doesn’t do s--- for anything. I’ll be waiting for my fine, get ‘em the next day.’’

In the same article, Cowley also has the post game reactions from both Mark Buehrle and Joe West.

Buehrle’s side: "I did the same move the toss right before that and [West] didn’t call a balk on it. I think he’s too worried about promoting his [Country Music] CD and I think he likes seeing his name in the papers a little bit too much instead of worrying about the rules. I’d like to find out what he called a balk on me. Your knee can cross over the rubber. I know your foot can’t and I didn’t do that. I watched the replays trying to see what it was called a balk and I have still yet to see what I did.’’

And West on Guillen claiming the umpire was embarrassing Buehrle: "He didn't say that to me. I don't know what he's talking about. Ozzie came out because Buehrle was making gestures on the mound that could have got him kicked out so he was protecting Buehrle, that's all he was doing. I don't have a problem with that. … [Buehrle] threw his glove. There wasn't that much to it, was there?’’


And yes, Joe West really does have a country music CD. His CD is entitled "Blue Cowboy" and is available on his website. You can also buy a package deal for $19.99 which includes his spoken word CD on the game of baseball "Diamond Dreams." I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

The Sox did manage to hold on in the game despite the theatrics in the early goings, topping Cleveland 5-4, and taking the series 2-1.

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