In early May, TCM wrote that it looked like Joe West and his crew were on pace to set some kind of new record for ejections in a season, given that they had tossed eight players, managers, and coaches in the first 30-35 games. As The Common Man wrote in the comments section of that post,
“The problem stems from the difference between this umpiring crew and every single other umpiring crew working today. This crew is less competent … and more reactionary (the sheer number of ejections is astounding) than any other crew working today.”
The umpires on West’s crew are confrontational, hold grudges, and are not held publically accountable for the atmosphere they help create where explosions are possible. Yes, the players and managers who get tossed may deserve it for their behavior, but these umpires are responsible for allowing games to get out of control. And it is happening a lot, and undermining the integrity of the baseball games that this crew has been working. Here is an updated list of everyone that Joe West and his crew have ejected in 2011:
|4/13||Bud Black||Mgr||Angel Hernandez||HP||4th|
|4/22||Brad Arnsberg||Pitching Coach||Paul Schrieber||HP||2nd|
|4/22||Brad Mills||Mgr||Joe West||2B||2nd|
|5/4||Joe Maddon||Mgr||Joe West||1B||8th|
|5/4||BJ Upton||Player||Chad Fairchild||HP||9th|
|5/4||John Farrell||Mgr||Chad Fairchild||HP||8th>>>|
|5/5||Terry Francona||Mgr||Angel Hernandez||HP||2nd|
|5/9||Ron Gardenhire||Mgr||Joe West||HP||9th|
|5/22||Matt Treanor||Catcher||Angel Campos||HP||7th|
|5/22||Ned Yost||Mgr||Angel Campos||HP||7th|
|5/27||Bob Geren||Mgr||Angel Campos||HP||6th|
|7/3||Ron Washington||Mgr||Angel Hernandez||1B||7th|
|7/3||Gary Pettis||1B coach||Angel Hernandez||1B||7th|
|7/5||Rick Porcello||Bench||Angel Campos||HP||9th|
|7/5||Justin Verlander||SP||Joe West||1B||7th|
|7/5||Jim Leyland||Mgr||Joe West||1B||7th|
|7/5||Bobby Abreu||DH||Angel Campos||HP||2nd|
As you can see, there is a large stretch, all of June, where West and company did not eject anyone. This may be, in large part, because there was an week-long break, from June 5 through June 12, where the crew did not work at all, which was probably a scheduled vacation.
But in the five days of July so far, West’s crew has ejected six people from baseball games. Across roughly the first half of the season, they ejected 17. There were five games in which they ejected multiple players, and two games in which they ejected at least three people. Angel Hernandez has ejected four individuals, while Joe West and Angel Campos have each ejected five. All of Campos’ ejections have come with him behind the plate, while four of West’s five have been while he was umpiring the bases. Eleven of the 17 have come in the 7th inning or later.
Again, the numbers are fairly staggering. West’s crew is on pace to eject somewhere around 35 individuals this year, or one for every four-and-a-half games. That so many of the ejections are clustered into individual games, and occur so late in the game, is perhaps a sign that the crew allows stress and pressure to build until it explodes like a geyser of invective, posturing, and screaming, and suggests that Joe West, Angel Hernandez, Angel Campos, and the rest of their crew have little idea of how to control a Major League game. As before, The Common Man will continue to follow this situation until there is more news or Joe West and his crew are fired or publicly disciplined. Until then, baseball fans should have very little faith that West and his crew are being held accountable, given that their behavior, which has the power to affect the outcomes of games, has not changed.
(Update: For more on Joe West, his crew, and where they rank against other Major League umpires, The Common Man culled through all 1309 boxscores from 2011 and cataloged all of the ejections. To find out which ump and which crew have the quickest thumbs in the MLB, click here.)