Doesn't it seem like umpire Joe West is in the news a lot lately? That's no accident, thanks to his publicist. Yes, an umpire, who's only doing well when he's not being noticed, has a publicist. And a country record!
You'll of course remember West from his bitching about the length of Yankees/Red Sox games; because we should feel bad for the man with a 3-and-a-half-hour workday. It was out of line for an umpire to tell players how to do their job, when they wouldn't put up with the reverse. Regardless, it got Joe West some headlines.
Fast-forward to yesterday afternoon, when he called Mark Buehrle for two balks in the first three innings. The first got Ozzie Guillen ejected; the second, Buehrle. Ozzie went off after the game, calling West an fucking asshole, and other unprintable things. It's not a particularly rare accomplishment to get Ozzie riled up, but regardless, it got Joe West some headlines.
So then there's today's big announcement: Joe West will be umpiring this weekend's series in Boston. How the fuck did something so mundane get Joe West some headlines?
Writes Gordon Edes:
The announcement that West and his crew will be working the Red Sox-Royals series did not come from Major League Baseball, but from a Tennessee-based publicist who lists West as one of his clients and said that West is "available for media interviews and guest appearances." West is believed to be the only big-league umpire with his own publicist.
Typically, Major League Baseball does not publicly announce umpiring crew assignments in advance. Usually, the identity of a crew is not made known until starting lineups are distributed in press boxes before games. The assignments are kept private "for security reasons," according to Cathy Davis, MLB specialist in umpire administration.
What possible reason would Joe West have for having his own publicist? Well, I'm sure you remember our groundbreaking from way back in 2005 on the subject (223 views as of press time!). Of course, West is an aspiring country western singer.
Go to his site and listen to some clips from his music! Or, better yet, dont. Look at that album. It's like the cover artist is Henry Darger.