SBD/Issue 145/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Joe West Admonished Over Yankees, Red Sox Pace Of Play Comments

West Will Not Be Fined For Comments About
Yankees, Red Sox, But Has Been Admonished

An MLB official said that umpire Joe West "would not be fined" for his comments criticizing the Yankees and Red Sox over their slow pace of play, though he has "been admonished firmly," according to Bill Madden of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The official said West's comments have "created a problem of perception in regard to (West's) impartiality." Madden wrote, "Essentially, he was told his heart was in the right place but he just can't be saying these things, so zip it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/11). SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote West's comments were "inappropriate and over-the-top, and they have earned West scorn in baseball circles, a well-deserved admonishment from his bosses and possibly even discipline from baseball's powers." However, that "doesn't mean West was entirely wrong," as the Red Sox, and "especially the Yankees, do need to pick up the pace." The Yankees have "played the longest games in baseball ... in 10 of the last 11 years" (SI.com, 4/10).

PLAYERS RESPOND: In Boston, John Tomase noted Red Sox players Friday "voiced their own opinions" about West's comments, which including calling the two teams "pathetic and an embarrassment." Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis: "I don't know if he got fined or whatever, but if we ever called an umpire pathetic and embarrassing, it would be the end of the world. We'd get fined and we'd deserve it." Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia: "We're playing baseball. It's not a timed game. There's not a shot clock. And there's a reason for that. ... If those guys have an issue with that, it might be time to pick a new profession or talk to the umpires' association about not working any more Yankees-Red Sox games." Red Sox manager Terry Francona "called the whole thing 'troubling' and said his players shouldn't apologize for working the count" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/10). Yankees SS Derek Jeter: "It's baffling to me. What makes it embarrassing? We've been playing long games. At what point does it become an embarrassment -- at 3:10 or at 3:11?" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/10). 

SPEAKING THE TRUTH: In N.Y., Tim Smith wrote West "should be applauded for speaking up," as the game is "way too slow." Smith: "Speed it up, please. ... Can we get a clock on the pitcher? Can we limit the number of times a batter can step out of the batter's box? Can we limit the number of times a [catcher] can visit the mound like the manager has been limited to two trips before he has to pull the pitcher? Would any of that ruin the integrity of the game? I doubt it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/10). CBSSPORTS.com's Ray Ratto wrote West is "right about Yankees-Red Sox games," as they "have been ridiculously long for years." The Yankees and Red Sox "cannot be allowed to have special dilly-dallying privileges that the other 28 teams do not have" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/9). In Florida, Mark DeCotis wrote the "last thing baseball needs is allegiance or adherence to a clock," but the "timepiece is the best friend -- and bargaining chip -- of the real power in pro sports: TV" (FLORIDA TODAY, 4/10).

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