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Umpire Joe West suspended for grabbing Jonathan Papelbon

It was a different kind of grabbing than what Papelbon was suspended for, at least.

Rich Schultz

Jonathan Papelbon got all the attention for grabbing at his crotch in the direction of fans, but what came afterward was honestly more embarrassing: and not for the Phillies' closer. Umpire Joe West, who was working second base at the time, ejected Papelbon, and then escalated the situation by grabbing on to Papelbon's jersey and pulling. MLB announced that Joe West will be suspended for one game for his actions, a punishment he'll serve on Wednesday.

MLB's Joe Torre gave his thoughts in a press release.

Joe West handled himself appropriately in ejecting Papelbon after the player's lewd gesture to the fans.  I fully understand that Joe was reacting to a player who was acting aggressively, and can understand his frustration with the situation.  However, Joe knows that an umpire cannot initiate physical contact with a player just as a player cannot initiate physical contact with an umpire.  I spoke to Joe about the incident, and he admitted that there was a better way to handle the situation.  I consider this matter closed."

It seems a bit odd that Papelbon, who gestured to fans ever so briefly, albeit rudely, is set to miss a week of work, while West -- who initiated contact by grabbing at Papelbon -- is missing just the one game. Yeah, Papelbon was blocking West from getting back to second, as you can see in the video, but he didn't touch West. Why? Because even Papelbon knows you're not allowed to do that.

On the plus side, that is one less night of Joe West in our collective lives, and Papelbon should be recognized as the hero he is for helping to bring that about. On the downside? West might use his free time to record more demos for his next country music album.