Major League Baseball suspended umpire Joe West one game for grabbing Jonathan Papelbon. Major League Baseball had already suspended Jonathan Papelbon seven games for grabbing Jonathan Papelbon. How is that fair?
Joe Torre, MLB’s discipline guru, addressed the outraged aftermath of the Phillies reliever’s crotch-grabbing incident:
Joe West handled himself appropriately in ejecting Papelbon after the player’s lewd gesture to the fans. I fully understand that Joe was reacting to a player who was acting aggressively, and can understand his frustration with the situation. However, Joe knows that an umpire cannot initiate physical contact with a player just as a player cannot initiate physical contact with an umpire. I spoke to Joe about the incident, and he admitted that there was a better way to handle the situation. I consider this matter closed.
Torre’s punishment isn’t a first for the umpire. West, who worked on Enrico Pallazzo’s crew when he thwarted an assassination attempt on the Queen of England by Reggie Jackson, received an ejection, along with Hank Robinson, from the opera singer/home-plate umpire during that Angels-Mariners game.