West versus Rivera: Yankee/Red Sox games too long?

Recently, umpire Joe West spoke out against the Yankees and Red Sox organizations, saying they play too slow. The comments followed a 10 inning affair that ended just under three and a half hours. Some words West used to describe the teams included “embarrassing” and “pathetic”.

“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. He was the home plate umpire Sunday. “They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?

Source: NorthJersey.com

The issue of the Yankees slowing the game down isn’t new. We’ve heard about it for years. In the past few, however, the issue has been escalated and brought to the public eye. Most recently, Bob Watson, vice president of rules and on-field operations for Major League Baseball, spoke about the issue prior to the start of the 2010 baseball season.

While Derek Jeter declined to comment, saying “I’m not really one to say much about umpires,” closer Mariano Rivera had no problem tackling the issue with some comments of his own.

“He has a job to do. He should do his job,” Rivera said. “We don’t want to play four-hour games, but that’s what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do, and that’s play our game.”

Source: NY Post

Are Yankees/Red Sox games lengthy? Yes

Are Yankees/Red Sox generally entertaining games? Yes

Problem? I don’t see one. Baseball is a sport that each team must utilize strategy from the first pitch to the last. If part of that strategy is making a pitcher uncomfortable by calling a time out, so be it. The bottom line is, Yankees and Red Sox fans get to watch more baseball. Not everyone will agree with this. Nor do I believe if we speed up a few games, the sport will suddenly skyrocket in popularity.

Whatever camp you’re in, I don’t believe it’s an umpires place to come out and say this sort of thing. Players are fined for speaking against calls they believe to be incorrect. Often times, we’ve found many of these calls, especially last season, are in fact the wrong calls. When did the double standard set in that an umpire has full power to say whatever he wants?

Either way, it’s likely we haven’t heard the end of this yet.

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7 Responses to West versus Rivera: Yankee/Red Sox games too long?

  1. I'm glad you wrote this article and not me. This guy, Jerry West, is an asshole.

    Are the Yankees and Red Sox games long? Hell yes they are. But are they “embarrassing” and “pathetic”? I don't even see how you can say that with a straight face. I mean, what a douche, these Red Sox/Yankees games are some of the best and most exciting games in, not just baseball, but all of sports.

    Mariano Rivera is 100 percent correct, this guy has a job to do, he should do it. Whining like this makes it sound like he just wants to leave the games early. If the game ends past your bedtime then you should retire and let somebody else do the job.

    Pathetic.

  2. Chris Barrows says:

    There no question this might be considered a hot debate to some. There are plenty out there who have an issue with the way the Yankees take their time playing baseball. The bottomline is the Yankees play strategic baseball and I don't see an issue with it.

    I also don't mind being at Yankee Stadium for 4 plus hours personally. That being said, not everyone will agree and I'm ok with that.

  3. Mike S. says:

    “They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?"

    What an idiot. How about…because they work the count, force a lot of pitches, those pitch counts force starters from games—causing more pitching changes, draw walks, foul off pitches, keep innings alive, score runs…need I go on?

    It's Joe West.

    …and his nickname is "Cowboy" Joe West. One of the worst umpires in baseball, and has been for a while. He and the Phils had problems for years. West seems to have his own agenda. Heck, the Mike and Mike show this morning was ripping the guy for his prima donna ways. I forget who was ripping him…Olney?

    Want to help baseball, Joe? Do us all a favor. Leave the game.

  4. The games are long, maybe too long. So I'm open to debate on that topic. I just don't like hearing that the games are embarrassing or pathetic.

  5. Jason from The Heart says:

    I couldn't agree more about West, Rob and Mike. What a self-centered douchebag. The idea that these games were "embarrassing" or "pathetic" is unvarnished nonsense. Maybe West missed his dinner reservations; too stinking bad. He's paid well to call a game and, if he doesn't like, can go work elsewhere anytime for my liking.

    I like that Jeter and Pettite, while not confrontational, didn't back down from West. Good for them.

  6. Jason from The Heart says:

    …and Chris, too. Good job writing on this and calling out West, especially about umpires and players/coaches held to different standards.

  7. Chris Barrows says:

    Thanks Jason. When you break it down, it just doesn't work for me. A player doesn't have the ability to say something like this and not get fined, if directed at an umpire or a call.