Ump blasts Sox, Yanks for slow pace

Interesting story in The Record today. The New Jersey paper spoke to umpire Joe West before last night’s game and he ripped the Red Sox and Yankees.

“They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace. They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing,” West said. “They take too long to play.”

The first two games of the series took 3:46 and 3:48. The 10 innings last night were in a tidy 3:21.

MLB has been on a mission to speed up games the last few years, fining pitchers for strolling in from the bullpen and cutting down on hitters being granted time.

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But West is being unfair. The Red Sox and Yankees play long games largely because their lineups are loaded with players who take pitches. That leads to frequent pitching changes. How can that be regulated?

(It’s also somewhat ironic that Joe West would be calling anybody out for being embarrassing. But that’s another story.)

It’s annoying to all concerned with batters step out of the box for no apparent reason or when pitchers stand on the mound and ponder the meaning of the universe before throwing a pitch. That can be fixed.

But you can’t ask Kevin Youkilis and Derek Jeter to swing at pitches they don’t like. The Red Sox and Yankees play the game right and sometimes that takes a while.

What do you think?

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