Umpire Joe West: Speed Of Red Sox-Yankees Games Are A 'Disgrace To Baseball'

Umpire Joe West is sick of working four hours a day, damn it! The Red Sox and Yankees need to speed these games up. The Cowboy wants to get home to eat his chicken fried steak and drink his keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon!

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West, who served as crew chief for the Yankees-Red Sox season-opening series at Fenway Park, told The Bergen Record of New Jersey that the way the two heated American League East rivals drag out games is "a disgrace to baseball."

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"They're the two clubs that don't try to pick up the pace," West told the Record prior to Wednesday's series finale. "They're two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?"

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But he doesn't believe that justifies the slower pace of games when the two clubs meet.

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"All of baseball looks to these two clubs to pick up the pace," West was quoted as saying. "Angel did everything he could [on Tuesday]. The players aren't working with us."

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I'm not sure of umpire etiquette, but I'm pretty confident he's not supposed to publicly come out and call any team -- let alone two of the best in baseball -- a "disgrace." I don't think Bud Selig will like that too much.

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Let's put the shoe on the other foot, though, shall we? What if Terry Francona came out and said Joe West and his umpiring crew are a "disgrace to baseball"? First of all, Francona would be accurate after this last series (if you ask Red Sox fans about a few calls). Second of all, Francona would receive a quite hefty fine from the MLB -- no matter how accurate that statement may be.

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West, I'm sure, was happy while he tapped his PBR keg on Wednesday night. Game three lasted three hours and 21 minutes, despite the game going into extra innings. You can thank John Lackey and Andy Pettitte for that.

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There you go, Westy. Hope the fine is going to be worth it all. (And I'm sure the Red Sox and Yankees will remember what you said next time your crew is on the field with them. Or not.)

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