Umpire Joe West Suspended Three Games for Calling Adrian Beltre Biggest Complainer
Umpire Joe West has been suspended three games for telling USA Today that Adrian Beltre is the league's biggest complainer.
West, who has worked the third-most games in league history including five World Series, made the comment in a wide-ranging interview that was published on June 20. In the piece, West gives his views on how the game has changed, the best pitchers and hitters he's ever seen and much more.
When asked about who the biggest complainer he's dealt with is, West said the following:
“It’s got to be Adrian Beltre. Every pitch you call that’s a strike, he says, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!’ I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, “that ball is outside.’
“I told him, ‘You may be a great ballplayer, but you’re the worst umpire in the league. You stink.’’
In the interview, West clarified that he and Beltre are on good terms, and Beltre later said he thought the suspension was unnecessary and that West told him he was joking.
It is unclear whether the league waited to enact the suspension or if it was given shortly after the interview and West was appealing until now.
“Joking interactions between umpires and players are a routine part of the game," the World Umpires Association said in a statement. "We disagree strongly with the decision to punish Joe West simply for sharing a humorous exchange with a player.”
Beltre, who recorded his 3,000th hit on July 30, was recently the subject of one of the weirder ejections you'll ever see. On July 27, he was thrown out by Gerry Davis for moving the on-deck circle closer to him.