Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Report: Umpire Joe West suspended three games for bashing Adrian Beltre publicly

49 Comments

Back in June, umpire Joe West celebrated his 5,000th game. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports interviewed him to get his thoughts on all things baseball past and present. One of the subjects was Adrian Beltre. West said, under the header “Biggest complainer:”

It’s got to be Adrian Beltre. Every pitch you call that’s a strike, he says, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, “that ball is outside.”

I told him, “You may be a great ballplayer, but you’re the worst umpire in the league. You stink.”

(West later clarified to USA TODAY Sports that he and Beltre are on friendly terms).

West has been suspended three games for those remarks, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. The union is strongly opposed to the suspension. Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the World Umpires Association said, “Joe West is the most senior umpire in our ranks, having served MLB since 1976, under six different baseball commissioners. Joe has upheld the rules of fair play for more than 5,000 Major League Baseball games, and is on his way to the record for most career games ever worked by an MLB umpire. He should be on the field today.”

While it’s nice to see an umpire actually reprimanded for poor conduct, it would be nicer to see it applied more consistently. Many umpires instigate confrontations with players and coaches, then eject them, and seem to never face consequences for their role in the altercations. West is certainly no stranger to that. It seems like the straw that broke the camel’s back was speaking colorfully to the media.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.