The Major League Baseball season is just a couple of days old, and we’ve already got our first tiff involving Joe West.
The longtime umpire has seen his share of confrontation over the years, and he’s off to a great start in 2015. First, there was his too-cool-for-school ejection of A.J. Pierzynski in spring training. Now, on Opening Day, West found himself in the middle of controversy in Detroit.
West gained no fans in Minnesota when he ruled with no help from the first-base umpire that Twins outfielder Torii Hunter went around on a checked swing third strike to end the game. Hunter understandably was upset that West made the call with no help from any of the other umpires, and replays showed Hunter probably had a legitimate argument.
Hunter then blasted West after the game when talking to reporters.
“I think he did dinner reservations or a concert to play in,” Hunter said, via the Detroit Free Press. “That was terrible. All I ask….we come out and do our job every day. That’s what I do. I come ready to play. Do my job. I battle at the plate.
“We ask you to do your job as well. And Joe West needs to do his job and he didn’t do it well.”
West defended his decision while speaking to a pool reporter after the game.
“I thought he swung, so I said he swung,” West said, according to the Free Press. “They’re all great players, and any time you get called out at the end of the game on something like that, they’re going to be upset, so I understand that.”
Hunter’s right about one thing, though. He’ll probably have to cut a check to MLB in the coming days for those comments.
Thumbnail photo via Carlos Osorio/The Associated Press
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