Mariano Rivera responds to Joe West
Yesterday, we learned that umpire Joe West had criticized both the Yankees and the Red Sox, citing their recent series as a “disgrace to baseball,” because it was overly long (in his view). The comments from West create a number of legitimate issues related to his impartiality – will he call more strikes in Yankees-Red Sox games just to hurry them along – and, in addition to that, they seem to indicate a lack an understanding, on his part, of the way both the Yankees and the Red Sox play the game (patient approaches, big bats, etc.). Basically, West’s words were extremely troubling. Even Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera, who rarely offers negative commentary, was bothered by West’s snarky criticism. When asked about the comments yesterday, Rivera, responded with the following:
“It’s incredible,” Rivera told The Post. “If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?”
“He has a job to do. He should do his job,” Rivera said. “We don’t want to play four-hour games but that’s what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do and that’s play our game.”
Well said by Rivera. West is certainly entitled to his opinion, however, his comments were out of line and provided insights that have, in turn, tinged his credibility. In fact, West should not work another Yankees-Red Sox game this season. None of the players would feel comfortable with him behind the plate or making calls around the diamond.
Photo by the AP