Jeter fires back at Joe West
Nice job by all the Yankees’ beat writers for providing Derek Jeter with the forum Friday to absolutely nail his rebuttal to umpire “Cowboy” Joe West, who Thursday called the Yankees and Red Sox “a disgrace to baseball” for their “pathetic and embarrassing” pace of play, which has consistently pushed the four-hour mark for, well, I don’t know … forever!!
West made these comments, and more, to Jeff Roberts of the Bergen Record Thursday.
“They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace,” said West, chief of the umpiring crew that worked the three-game series in Boston to start the season. West was behind home plate for Sunday night’s three-hour, 46-minute opener.
But it was Tuesday night’s 3:48 marathon that sent him over the edge.
“They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? “It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.”
Chad Jennings over at LoHud has the complete Jeter audio. Scroll down past the Javier Vazquez stuff to get to the captain’s pregame.
Here is a snippet of the Jeter text.
“It’s his words, ask him what’s embarrassing about it,” Jeter said. “I don’t see what’s pathetic and embarrassing about it. As opposed to what? If it’s 20 minutes shorter it’s not pathetic and embarrassing? At what point is it not embarrassing?”
Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera also tore into West for his highly inflammatory comments, which have left many to wonder if West will now call strikes on questionable pitches and ring up outs on close plays on the bases just to keep things moving.
“It’s incredible,” Rivera told our pals George King and Brian Costello at The New York Post Thursday. “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. We don’t want to play four-hour games, but that’s what it takes.”
Here’s an idea.
If West and fellow ump Angel Hernandez, who refused to award extra time to Jeter, Marcus Thames and David Ortiz in the batter’s box Tuesday, really want to take a stand, tell them to petition the commissioner’s office in protest of the blatant money grab of allowing more commercial time between innings.
But don’t hold your breath.