Umpire Joe West will take the field for his 5,000th game tonight, and Jeff Passan has a profile of him over on Yahoo Sports to commemorate the occasion. There are quite a few interesting tidbits—he golfs with Hawk Harrelson! He doesn’t seem to care even in the slightest about how much people hate him!—and there’s also this:
“When we put in replay, I thought there would be no arguments,” West said. “The first year we put in replay, ejections went up 20 percent. Baseball is a funny game. It’s typically American. If you don’t succeed it’s someone else’s fault. And the first person you want to look at is the official. Just look at our last election. When Hillary lost, it’s someone else’s fault. The Russians. Wikileaks. It’s the fact you couldn’t stand up and say ‘I lost.’ Nobody in today’s society wants to say ‘I wasn’t good enough.’ Baseball is a game of failures. The last hitter who hit .400 is dead and gone. There isn’t going to be another of those. For anybody to think this is a perfect game, they’re kidding themselves. Let’s be honest: How do you hit a round ball with a cylindrical bat square.”
Let’s be honest: Sing us a song about it.