Why Can’t Technology Make An Umpire’s Mask To Fit Joe West’s Face?
One would think that Joe West would do what was necessary so that the cameras wouldn't linger on his face. But no. The MLB umpire had an epic staring contest with the Giants' Madison Bumgarner during a game with the Padres on Thursday night, following a couple of bad calls by West that led to a walk.
I was watching the game, and I'll confess that all I could think of during the confrontation was that West's mask does nearly nothing to protect him from foul tips.
My intention here is not to be insulting or to get personal with a person's appearance. It's a safety issue. When your mask covers only half of your face, and even the floppy plastic chin guard attachment at the bottom doesn't reach down far enough, then that's worrisome. What if a ball hits him in the neck? Or is that part of his face? You judge.
As you can see, West is still a problem for baseball -- these childish antics are typical of him, and don't even happen in Little League. MLB puts up with him for two reasons: a strong umpire's union, and the fact that West is the president of the World Umpires Association. Oh, and on the technical side, he's a good umpire. His strike zone is usually consistent and he's good on the bases.
But an umpire is never indispensable, no matter how good he is. West can be a childish prick, and there's really no reason for him to be there. For MLB to put up with him is a joke.
He also works for a sporting goods company that designs and patents umpiring equipment endorsed by MLB, so the mask thing is an even bigger mystery.
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.