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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

MLB umpire Joe West has never missed a call. Just ask him

Mostly, players and managers will argue, West is a good umpire. No one can remember him losing control of an important game because the situation was too big. Still, the questions always linger when he works.

Is he too big for the game? Can his loud personality, his arrogance get in the way?

Managers and players will tell you that there’s a side of him that screams: How dare you question me! Who are you to speak in my presence? I’m Joe West!

One manager said, “Sometimes Joe likes the villain role a little too much.”

West says he has never missed a call.

“My fourth year, [then-Padres manager] Dick Williams came out of the dugout to argue a play and said, ‘Just tell me you missed it and I’ll go away,’” West said. “I said, ‘I’ve never missed one.’ He said, ‘You can’t be that arrogant.’ I said, ‘That’s not arrogance. I don’t call them all right, but I’ve been out here for all of them. And that just blew his mind.’”

How does West answer those who say he is arrogant?

“I don’t have to answer,” he said. “Most of them don’t have the guts to say it to your face.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 05:35 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe west

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   1. . Posted: September 16, 2020 at 08:25 PM (#5977090)
Kinda silly to give the ESPN puff piece treatment to that degenerate.
   2. Itchy Row Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:59 PM (#5977114)
He’s looking for a reality show. If somebody gives him one, he’ll leave baseball alone.
   3. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:59 PM (#5977215)
“My fourth year, [then-Padres manager] Dick Williams came out of the dugout to argue a play and said, ‘Just tell me you missed it and I’ll go away,’” West said. “I said, ‘I’ve never missed one.’ He said, ‘You can’t be that arrogant.’ I said, ‘That’s not arrogance. I don’t call them all right, but I’ve been out here for all of them. And that just blew his mind.’”
I admit, I chuckled at West's verbal jiu-jitsu here.
   4. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 17, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5977224)
I remember MLB Network early on had an umpire on (might've been Froemming) and asked if he ever admitted missing a call. He said no because he was always taught from day one of umpire school that you never admit to missing a call that players and managers would view it as weakness and then assume any close call that went the other way was a make up call causing more problems. I don't agree with that school of thought but between that, some of the Luciano books and other places I've seen commentary from umps it's pretty clear that they are told to never concede an error.
   5. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5977248)
I don't agree with that school of thought but between that, some of the Luciano books and other places I've seen commentary from umps it's pretty clear that they are told to never concede an error.
I don't recall what the take was on that point, but I found "As They See 'em" by Bruce Weber (who went through umpire school as well as doing extensive interviews with many umps and other experts) to be absolutely fascinating.

The stuff on physical positioning as well as on-field presence, composure and management was incredibly eye-opening for how hard the job is. (Especially the stuff that isn't just about knowing the rules and seeing/making the right calls.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:28 PM (#5977249)
I don't agree with that school of thought but between that, some of the Luciano books and other places I've seen commentary from umps it's pretty clear that they are told to never concede an error.


Yet Denkinger (one of the more respected umpires in his career) and Joyce (another respected umpire) both have done that. I get that you can't concede it at the time, (although I'm pretty sure I've seen a couple of times that the umpire did overturn his own call, doesn't happen often.... I mean I'm 50 years old and I think it's happened twice, and even there I couldn't tell you the details...although a few times I've seen the umpiring crew overturn a call on their own even before replay) but after the fact, you can say to the press "I was wrong on that call".

I admit, I chuckled at West's verbal jiu-jitsu here.


You don't expect anything less from Joe West.
   7. Lassus Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5977253)
Kinda silly to give the ESPN puff piece treatment to that degenerate.

Be kinda silly to do anything else. It's what sports journalism is.
   8. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5977258)
The stuff on physical positioning as well as on-field presence, composure and management was incredibly eye-opening for how hard the job is. (Especially the stuff that isn't just about knowing the rules and seeing/making the right calls.


One of the things I tell the kids I coach is that when they turn 13 they should ump. Knowing the rules is the easy part. Dealing with the weird stuff and being able to present yourself and make the calls in a way that lets people "know" you got it right is the tricky part. Plus the fact is the number of players, even at the big league level, who get messed up on rules situations is pretty amusing.

I loved umpiring in my teenage years. It's a ton of fun.
   9. VCar Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5977262)
remember MLB Network early on had an umpire on (might've been Froemming) and asked if he ever admitted missing a call. He said no because he was always taught from day one of umpire school that you never admit to missing a call that players and managers would view it as weakness and then assume any close call that went the other way was a make up call causing more problems. I don't agree with that school of thought but between that, some of the Luciano books and other places I've seen commentary from umps it's pretty clear that they are told to never concede an error.


Heard this too. I've coached kids' baseball for a long time, and most of the umps there tell me that they're taught to make a call (right or wrong) quickly and loudly, and don't admit mistakes on judgment calls since they can;t be protested.

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