Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Cardinals last night. It was broken up by a Jeremy Hazelbaker home run and, with that, it was pretty clear that his night was going to be over, as Aroldis Chapman was warming in the pen.
But he wasn’t totally warm yet, which led to mound meeting to buy Chapman some time. Are clubs supposed to do that? Not really, it’s a delay tactic. Does it happen all the dang time? Of course it does. And given the situation — if Hendricks had retired Hazelbaker he’d still be out there, no-hitter intact — it’s pretty understandable that Chapman might be given a few extra seconds to warm up and Hendricks a few extra seconds to soak in his moment.
Joe West wasn’t having it, though. He started barking at the Cubs infielders meeting at the mound and then got into it with Joe Maddon, who was soon ejected. If you can read lips, you can tell that the two of them exchanged all manner of filth, flarn and foul:
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After the game Maddon didn’t speak much about it, but as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports, his annoyance at West was palpable.
I’ve lamented that so many rules Major League Baseball has enacted and proposed in recent years takes discretion away from umpires. But then I’m reminded that, in some cases, that’s a pretty good idea. At least as long as Joe West is out there running things.