ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes spoke with umpire Joe West over the phone yesterday. You remember West right? The umpire who called the Red Sox and Yankees embarassing because of the pace in which they play baseball games? There was backlash from the players, the media and just about everyone else with an opinion.
Well, West isn't backing off it. "I don't second-guess what I said," West told Edes. "And I don't believe I'm wrong. A lot of people don't believe I'm wrong."
West then goes on to play the "I was misquoted" card, then in the most creative way of shifting blame ever, points fingers at the New York media.
"I kind of expected the firestorm I created. But the interview was taken out of context. The first thing I said was that these were two of our best teams, but the pace that they play the game was pathetic and embarrassing. But everybody, especially the New York media, blew it out of proportion and said I was calling the teams pathetic," he told ESPN Boston.
The story goes on to inform us that West is the only known MLB umpire to have his own publicist. Sigh.
I don't think anyone ever thought West was calling either or both teams pathetic. He said the pace was pathetic. But as what was brought up after West gave his opinion is that you have two teams with good hitters who take a lot of pitches. Is it annoying that Jonanthan Papelbon takes 3 hours to do his Ace Ventura stare ? Quite. However, it's part of the show. Deal with it.
In other Cowboy Joe West news and in "I would do anything to have Ozzie Guillen to manage in New York news," West tossed Guillen from a game yesterday after calling a balk on Mark Buerle. Never a man to not speak his mind, Guillen was interviewed after the game about his thoughts on Joe West and the ejection. The resulting video is the finest four minutes of entertainment you will see today. See it here.