Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Thank you Joe West

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joe-west.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Umpire Joe West has already cost the White Sox fines this season, but on Friday night the feeling was that West - who was the crew chief for the start of the series with the Royals - may have cost them even more this time around.
Despite bad weather in the Kansas City area projected throughout the evening, it was West's decision to start the game between the Sox and Royals. A game that lasted a total of five hitters before it was first delayed, and then eventually postponed.
That left the Sox angry, as well as scrambling with how to handle Saturday's traditional double-header, which will start at 6:10 p.m. Because of the exclusive TV rights FOX has a day-night doubleheader was ruled out.
How it affected the Sox specifically?
Well, Edwin Jackson, who was arguably the hottest starting pitcher the Sox had going, threw seven pitches, on top of the usual pre-game warm-up, so that basically took him out of the equation for coming back Saturday and pitching.
The Sox announced that Freddy Garcia would start Game 1, but they were scrambling to find a Game 2 starter. It will either be a roster move or a bullpen game, with Tony Pena the likely candidate to start. Either way, it makes Jackson a non-factor for almost a week and a half from when he pitched last until when he takes the mound again, and will put a strain on a bullpen that already has question marks with how much overtime they've put in as of late.
The real kicker?
After starting Game 1 at 6:10 and then Game 2 30 minutes after Game 1 ends, the Sox have to comeback on Sunday morning for a 1:10 p.m. first-pitch against Zack Greinke.
Thanks to the Minnesota Twins winning a laugher over an Angels team that looks like its ready for the offseason, the Sox will play the three-game marathon starting the evening 4 ½ games back.
"I'm sure it's cheated everyone before,'' Jackson replied, when asked if he felt cheated by the weather. "Unless you really just started playing baseball, I'm sure you've been cheated by the weather before.''
Then he was asked the million dollar question - or at least the question that could have led to a nice fine depending on how he answered it - did he feel like West's lack of judgment cheated him?
"That's his decision,'' Jackson said. "No reason to get mad over something you can't control. Not to make a decision on if we start a game or not, that's his decision, that's his call. Ask him how he feels about it.''
Jackson did say that there was a brief discussion made on his part to try and start one of the games Saturday, but he was quickly vetoed by the coaching staff and manager Ozzie Guillen.
"When you're in a situation like that, you're pretty much fighting a losing battle,'' Jackson said. "I don't think there are too many managers in the league that will let a pitcher warm up, start a game and then come back and finish it [the next day]. I don't think it's an option.''
Either way, Friday's decision making was poor at best. For conspiracy theorists it could go even a step further. It was West that was responsible for the Mark Buehrle "balk game'' back on May 26 in Cleveland, when Buehrle was called for a balk by West, it was argued by Guillen, who was then tossed. An inning later, West called Buehrle for a second balk, leading to Buehrle's ejection.
Both Guillen and Buehrle made it very clear how they felt about West afterward on that day.
"Because he's a f---ing a--hole, that's what he is,'' Guillen said of West. "I just went out to ask him ... I wasn't asking about the balk because you're not allowed, anytime you go out there to ask about balk or whatever. The thing I went out to ask him about was why he was embarrassing Buehrle. I'm not going out to argue about the balk because the rule, but I went out to ask him why he's embarrassing Buehrle and he give me one of this [dismissing him with his hands]. When you're a professional and you have to respect the managers, the way we're supposed to respect the umpires, they are supposed to respect back. ... sometimes he thinks f---ing people pay to watch him f---ing umpire. He's the type of guy that wants to control the game, it's good for the game, and to me one of the best umpires in the game, no doubt. But in the meanwhile, those years are on his shoulders and kind of heavy and showing people who he is.''
Buehrle fired off this gem: "I did the same move the toss right before that and [West] didn't call a balk on it. I think he's too worried about promoting his [Country Music] CD and I think he likes seeing his name in the papers a little bit too much instead of worrying about the rules.''
Both Buehrle and Guillen were fined, as was West.
No wonder Friday was a head-scratcher.

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6 Comments

What the hell is that picture? Is Country Joe trying to hip-check Jerry Manuel?

I'm a Twins fan, and even I have to admit that it's not fair for the White Sox to have to play a doubleheader with the first game at 6:10 pm.

He's on the Bruce Froemming Diet. His music is phat too

The timeless equation: a (figuratively) little man plus a little power. But in fairness, it's a hard life without a chin.

quit crying and play baseball!

I'm a lifelong Sox fan and will be 'til the day I die. The Sox bullpen blew two saves against the Twins, not Joe West. If they played better head to head with the Twins, this wouldn't be such a problem.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on August 20, 2010 10:15 PM.

Vizquel pulls a Favre, and is likely not calling it quits just yet was the previous entry in this blog.

Sox still have the Twins on the mind ... and they see dead people is the next entry in this blog.

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