Umpire Joe West put himself back in the news yesterday when he ejected White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle and manager Ozzie Guillen during Chicago’s win in Cleveland against the Indians. The ejections came after West called Buerhle for a second balk; the pitcher dropped his glove to the ground in disgust, and Guillen came out, initially to protect his pitcher. He was eventually kicked out for arguing, as well.
West is part of the crew working the Red Sox-Royals series, and will be behind the plate tonight. Asked by a Globe reporter before tonight’s game if he’s surprised at the reaction Wednesday’s ejections have received, West didn’t have much to say.
“i’m not supposed to talk about it,” West said. “I don’t know what the reaction is, and I’m really not concerned about it. I’m here to do a job.”
After Wednesday’s game, Guillen said, sprinkling in a few expletives, “Sometimes he thinks people pay to watch him umpire,” not the first time West has been accused of wanting to become part of the story.
West’s response? “I really don’t have a response because that would just be opening up a can of worms that doesn’t need to be opened.”
According to an ESPN report, Major League Baseball is investigating Wednesday’s incident, with Bob Watson, MLB’s director of discipline, saying that a decision could come as early as tomorrow afternoon. Disciplinary actions taken against umpires are never announced, however.
This marks the first time back at Fenway for West since the April series against the Yankees, when he told a New Jersey newspaper that the pace of Red Sox-Yankees games has become “pathetic and embarrassing.”
When asked today about those comments and that controversy, West said, “I told you, I can’t comment on that. I’ve been asked not to speak about it.”
He wasn’t expecting a warm reception from the Fenway crowd, but not because of what he said in April, or what he did yesterday in Cleveland. “We get a lot of stuff directed at us all the time, that’s normal.”