|Joe Mother-effing West|
At mid-season, The Common Man reported that Joe was tied for second (with crew-mate Angel Campos) for most ejections in the Majors, and his crew was lapping the field in terms of the number of players, coaches, fans, and mascots they ejected. Since the regular season is done, and West and Hernandez could play a large role in October’s action, here are the updated and final ejection standings for 2011:
|Note: Umpire Crews were divined from this list.|
Based on where he was in July, Joe West really toned it down, tossing just two more mangers the entire year (Davey Johnson on August 28 and Charlie Manuel on September 4). His crewmate Angel Campos, with whom Cowboy Joe was tied for second place, also toned it down as well, ejecting just one more player (Ryan Braun on August 19) over the rest of the year. After leaving West’s crew, by the way, Angel Hernandez didn’t eject another person for the rest of the season.
Despite the three-day break for the All Star Game, July proved to be the cruelest month for ejections, with 44 guys getting sent to the showers early, just ahead of August with 40. It’s interesting to note that, as the rest of the umpires in Major League Baseball ramped up their ejections in the heat of the summer, West, Hernandez, and Campos significantly cooled off. Perhaps this is simply a function of their luck evening out, but it could also be a function of Major League Baseball’s efforts to curb their excesses.
Indeed, West’s crew, which was lapping the field in early July for the most ejections in baseball, only tossed seven people over the course of the second half. They were caught and passed by Jerry Layne’s crew in September, and almost caught by Tim Tschida’s crew of umpires as well.
West finishes the season in fourth place on the overall ejections list with seven, thanks to the continued aggressive ejection-ing of Bob Davidson, Rob Drake, and Hunter Wendelstedt, each of whom had eight. For what it’s worth, Drake ranked second in the ESPN poll of MLB players last year of umpires with the quickest thumbs, so this is no surprise. Likewise, Davidson has a long history of confrontational behavior and bad umpiring.
Wendlestedt really came out of the blue, however. At our last check-in, Wendelstedt hadn’t ejected anyone in 2011, but he likes to work in pairs. He was behind the plate when Jered Weaver decided to throw at Alex Avila’s head on July 31, for which he ran both Weaver and Mike Scioscia. On August 8, he tossed Fredi Gonzalez for arguing balls and strikes from the bench in the top half of the 4th, and then Freddie Freeman for arguing a checked swing call in the bottom half. Then on the 22nd, he ejected both Danny Valencia and Ron Gardenhire for arguing balls and strikes. Later in August, Wendelstedt sent Jim Tracy to the showers, and did the same for Joe Maddon in September. All in all, Hunter had a very busy two-month stretch.
It seems like baseball’s got bigger problems with their umpires now than Joe West and his Angels, given that both Wendelstedt and Davidson work for Jerry Layne’s crew. Perhaps whatever measures were taken to reign in West and company would also keep these new problem children in line. For what it’s worth, none of Davidson, Wendelstedt, or Drake has umpired in the postseason this year, and we probably shouldn’t begrudge West’s crew if they’ve taken whatever lessons MLB tried to impart to them to heart.
Because it’s not fair to talk about the umpires without talking about the players, managers, and coaches they eject, here’s some additional data on players and teams:
As you can see, the Tampa Bay Rays were far and away the most argumentative team in baseball, with 14 on the season. Joe Maddon was tossed six times on his own, while BJ Upton and David Price were run twice each (of only six players were were ejected multiple times). The Nationals and Red Sox finished a distant second, with ten ejections each. Mike Quade, however, was ejected more times than any man in baseball, sent packing by umpires seven times in 2011. Maddon and Ron Gardenhire tied for second with six each. Matt Kemp, meanwhile, led the league in ejections among players with 3. Kemp was ejected more often than Ron Washington, Terry Collins, Bud Black, Manny Acta, Tony LaRussa, and Dusty Baker.