The Real Life Adventures of Joe West

I missed Wednesday night’s festivities between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays. I was, believe it or not, playing hockey. I know: I am an actual, living, in-the-flesh Canadian stereotype.

Anyway, you can imagine my chagrin upon learning that I missed a Joe West ejection, two Chad Fairchild ejections, and all the drama that accompanied them. Life isn’t fair.

Thankfully, though, intrepid journalistic organizations — Reuters, for example — employ some of the finest sports photographers in the business, and they caught Joe West in action. It’s his form — his damn fine form — that I have become so enamored with.

Here’s another angle, this one from James Borchuck at the St. Petersburg Times. Bless you, James Borchuck.

Brilliant. Just exceptional. Art, dare I say.

You see, at NotGraphs, we’re not here to judge Joe West. Or Angel Hernandez, “an umpire so bad that he could only be on Joe West’s crew,” according to the one and only Craig Calcaterra. We’re here to only appreciate the Adventures of Joe West, both real and imagined.

I believe an anonymous commenter at The UEFL — The Umpire Ejections Fantasy League — put it best:

I believe the old saying is, “as goes Joe West, goes the bulk of the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League.”

NotGraphs’ Investigative Reporting Investigation Team has confirmed it; that actually is the old saying.

H/Ts: To Reuters, the St. Pete Times, and, most importantly, to Joe West.




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Navin Vaswani is a replacement-level writer. Follow him on Twitter.


12 Responses to “The Real Life Adventures of Joe West”

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  1. Matt says:

    Joe West is a joke. I really wish MLB would do something about pathetic umpires like him…when’s the last time an ump was fired?

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  2. glassSheets says:

    That looks remarkably close to the NotGraphs logo figure.

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  3. tdotsports1 says:

    it was an ugly scene in that TOR/TB game, uncalled for.

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  4. TheGrandslamwich says:

    His ability to repeat his form is what gives him such control, and thus his success.

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  5. Daniel says:

    Though doesn’t he look ever so dandyish in the second photo?

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  6. bluejaysstatsgeek says:

    Navin, I have an idea. Weren’t you the guy who did the Globe and Mail series about getting to every ballpark? Why not repeat but follow Joe West to every ballpark and see if we can get an ejection recorded in every park!

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  7. Lee Gregory says:

    I caught the Joe and Angel show last night at Fenway. They were in fine form! Joe called a foul tip on a Danny Valencia check swing, and when Gardenhire came out to ask him to check with Angel at 1st, Joe pointed at him three times (probably saying something like “Don’t come any closer!”) before giving him the heave-ho.

    Then Angel makes his personal favorite call, the balk that only he can see, on Alfredo Aceves in the 8th inning of a 1-0 game, putting the tying run into scoring position (which ultimately came in only thanks to that call).

    These guys think there are 35,000 people there each night just to watch them umpire. It’s disgraceful.

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