Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate the dustup between Joe West and the White Sox during yesterday’s White Sox-Indians game. I found this quote from discipline czar Bob Watson rather illuminating:
“We have either an umpire supervisor or umpire observer at
every game,” said Watson. “We will review all information available and
make a determination on what needs to be done.”
That suggest to me that they’re investigating West, not just figuring out whether Ozzie Guillen needs to be fined (why else would the umpire supervisor get mentioned?). Of course since Major League Baseball never announces umpire discipline we may not know what happens to West, but I’m encouraged that they at least appear to be open to the possibility that he acted like a horse’s ass yesterday.
In other news, The Common Man — who has been on a roll with this umpire business lately — has a post up over at IIATMS asking whether Joe West has bigger problems than his on-field behavior. Like, say, using his fame as an umpire to boost his country music career.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.