Umpire Joe West blasted the Yankees and Red Sox just before Wednesday's game, accusing the two clubs of being "pathetic and embarrassing" in dragging the pace of games and refusing to work with umpires. ...West also said that umpires are evaluated on how quickly the games move. So that's it. It's been obvious that the accuracy of their calls has no effect on their job security.
"They're the two clubs that don't try to pick up the pace," said West, chief of the umpiring crew that worked the three-game series in Boston. He was the home plate umpire Sunday. "They're two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?
"It's pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play. ... The commissioner of baseball says he wants the pace picked up."
The Globe's Peter Abraham (who is doing fantastic work at the Extra Bases blog) writes that it's "somewhat ironic that Joe West would be calling anybody out for being embarrassing. But that's another story."
I don't have anything noteworthy to say about this except there have been complaints about the excessive lengths of baseball games for at least 100 years. And somehow the game has survived.
Plus if the umpires called pitches according to the actual strike zone that is in the fucking rule book they supposedly have to follow, games would be at least 30-45 minutes faster. Calling nothing above the belt a strike is like calling a runner safe at first when the throw beats him by five feet. Or ruling a base hit if the outfielder makes a snow-cone catch.
The SoSH discussion includes strike zone plots for each home plate umpire. That is the disgrace.