Blog Entry

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

Posted on: May 5, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 4:03 pm
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By Matt Snyder


Joe West, Angel Hernandez, Chad Fairchild and Paul Schrieber are the worst umpiring crew in the majors, and it's not even close. If it was simply a competence issue, that might be a bit less of a problem. You can fix incompetence through more training. No, the problem is way worse. It's a crew that has a mental issue in terms of being accountable and lacking the most needed skill in officiating a sport.

There's a chip on the shoulder and penchant for intentionally becoming the story. That's a big problem.

Full disclosure here: I probably respect professional sports officials more than the average fan, because I'm a high school football official. Please don't misconstrue this into my saying I know what it's like to umpire major-league baseball. Not even close. I'm just saying I have an appreciation for how much harder it is to call a sporting event than the average fan realizes. Of course, I also realize that there are certain things that apply to all levels. Such as:

- A sporting official is doing his job if you don't even notice him.
- If a player, coach or manager gets thrown out of the game, one of two people are completely out of line: 1. the person who was ejected; 2. the person who did the ejecting.
- An official should never make himself part of the story or the center of attention.

These are basic and apply to all sports. If a player, coach or manager makes the umpire part of the story, that's not the umpire's fault. But West and his crew constantly violate all three of the above principles. And what's with all the yelling back? Shouldn't they just let players and managers vent? I sometimes think of it as the equivalent of an adult and child arguing. At some point, you have to be the adult. The umpires should act the same way. If you need to throw someone out, do it. Then just let him kick and scream like a child. There's no reason to scream back.

Wednesday night in Tampa Bay was just another example of the problem with this umpiring crew. Three people were ejected. B.J. Upton deserved it -- even though he was correct that it was an awful call, by the way. Joe Maddon and John Farrell were both ejected for arguing pretty mildly and neither deserved to be thrown out. Farrell's ejected was absurd because it looked like a completely ordinary conversation. No one else even knew he was arguing until the umpire made an issue out of it. You have to be pretty insecure to toss a guy who isn't doing anything to cause a scene. Maddon's ejection was absurd because he was simply asking a question and West later admitted he blew the call. Oh, wait, he said "it appears we may have erred." Quite an admission, huh?

Look, I understand the umpires take abuse and don't get near enough respect for the job they do. That's precisely why this crew is such a problem. These guys make it harder on the rest of the umpires in the bigs. You ever hear one bad apple spoils the whole bunch? If fans, media, players and coaches all have a sour taste about calls they see on a day-to-day basis from a group of umpires, suddenly the entire group of major-league umpires are stained. In order to stop people from having a sour taste in their mouths about umpiring, these guys need to quit putting themselves in the spotlight.

I don't know if they like or even crave the negative attention -- as some would say that's better than no attention at all -- but umpiring isn't supposed to be something that makes you famous. If someone is in it for anything but the job itself, they are in the wrong profession.

Enough of the constant ejections, ripping off the mask to scream at a dugout, tossing pitchers without warning or waiting for the TV cameras to come back on before running a guy. Just do your job and stay anonymous, that's all we're asking. No one is paying to watch an umpire sideshow. I'm guessing that's how Major League Baseball feels as well -- it just won't publicly say it.

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Category: MLB
Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:49 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:31 am
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:18 am
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

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Since: Aug 28, 2011
Posted on: August 28, 2011 6:18 pm
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

Rookie umpire, Chad Fairchild, was the problem child today on Joe West's umpiring crew as he ejected Dusty Baker for arguing a called out of Drew Stubb's who was clearly, I say clearly safe stealing 2nd Base, as the Replay showed.  It is time baseball did something about this crew.  They are a disgrace to the profession.  Let me tell you how bad they are viewed here in Souther California:  If they were cops, they would have been in on the Rodney King beating.  It is also time Replay was initiated.  Bud Selig is not listening.  He is the worst commissioner since Bart Giamatti.  Umpires and Managers should be shown equal respect, but each has to earn it.  



Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: July 6, 2011 9:18 pm
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

Starblazer you are soooo right! First of all why does and umpire need a nickname? Cowboy joe west? And I just watched a game the other day Where Ron Washington and Angel Hernandez got in to it and Angel cross his arms and laughed in Washingtons face while instigating more anger AND CONTINUED TO laugh. After he ejected Washington and the player he smirked and watched him all the way to the dugout and had this crappy look on his face. The other 2 I can not comment about but Officials are way in too the spotlight and have way to much control over what happens on the field. They need to be suspended and fined for bad calls and outbursts just as much as a player does.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 11:20 pm
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

Joe West, Angel Hernandez, Chad Fairchild and Paul Schrieber are the worst umpiring crew in the majors, and it's not even close. If it was simply a competence issue, that might be a bit less of a problem. You can fix incompetence through more training. No, the problem is way worse. It's a crew that has a mental issue in terms of being accountable and lacking the most needed skill in officiating a sport.

There's a chip on the shoulder and penchant for intentionally becoming the story. That's a big problem.



I toally agree. "Cowboy" Joe West is more interested in pushing his imbecilic country CD, then being a rpofessional umpire. He consistently is rated near the bottom. Only CJ Buckner is rated worse.

Angel Hernandez is a hot-head as well. He should be forced to change his first name to Diablo.

When reviewing Upton's suspension, MLB should immediately fine and suspend the entire crew and inform them they will not be umpring any post-season games in 2011.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 11:15 pm
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

Thanks for this article.  I felt absolutely disgusted after watching this game... the actions of these umpires represented a display of arrogance that has no place in Major Leage Baseball.  I love the game and it was really disappointing to see.  


Frank Drebben should have taken out Joe West when he had the chance.



Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:58 pm
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

I totally agree that this crew is a disaster and MLB has to do SOMETHING about them.  They are both incompetent AND arrogant. I first thought that your article was going to be about their abortion of a performance in last night's Twins/Red Sox game.  When mild-mannered Terry Francona calls you out, you probably deserve it. Baseball, under Bud Selig, has a bad habit of sweeping problems under the rug until the stink becomes unbearable and someone notices.  Let's hope they don't allow this crap to go on much longer. 



Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 11:09 am
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

MLB had a chance to get rid of West in 1999 when he resigned but inexplicably allowed him back.  He is an awful umpire, his attitude is disgraceful and he has been an embarrassment to the game for years.




Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 7:55 am
 

MLB has problem children: West's umpiring crew

Hernandez is by far the worst ball and strike umpire in the majors.  The exact same pitch in the exact same location can either be a ball or strike depending on his mood.  He's baffling inconsistent and Joe West thinks he's bigger than the game (perhaps he is physically bigger!) 


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