Tonight he was behind the plate for his 5376th game as a MLB umpire. That breaks Bill Klem’s record, which he had held since 1941. Klem was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1963. It’s inevitable Cowboy Joe will be too one day.
Tony LaRussa was effusive in his praise of West, but I’ll leave that aside for now. It is notable that West was three years into his MLB career when LaRussa was a rookie manager. That does at least illustrate his longevity.
Honestly, I cannot praise Joe West. Like most of us, he has good and bad qualities. However, just limiting this to baseball, I have to say he’s awful. He’s routinely rated one of the worst at calling balls and strikes. Worse, he’s the most likely to create an ump show on the field, having numerous occasions in which he escalated confrontations rather than acting as the impartial arbiter and “the adult in the room” an umpire is supposed to be.
Off the field, last year I was personally offended when he claimed medical professionals such as myself actually were ascribing deaths to COVID-19 falsely because it would bring them more insurance money. Such an accusation of fraud without proof is outrageous.
I’ll stop there. Congratulations to him, I suppose.