During the 2021 MLB season, Joe West umped his 5376th career baseball game. It just so happened to come at Guaranteed Rate Field for a Chicago White Sox game. A lot of people may not like Joe West because he made umpiring about himself during his career instead of just calling the game. Now, his umpiring days are over as he is retiring from the game.
There were also a lot of times when he just made some terrible decisions. He was mostly a bad umpire whether he was behind the plate or on the base paths. Somehow, he managed to set the MLB record for games umpired which does, like it or not, show his dedication to the craft.
His record-breaking game isn’t the only notable game that he umpired with the White Sox involved. Nobody will ever forget the time when he called Mark Buehrle for a balk against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. It came while Buehrle was throwing to Paul Konerko in an attempt at a pick-off.
It was a very bad call that led to some argument from Buehrle. He just wanted to know what he did wrong because he was just doing the typical pick-off move that he had been doing effectively for his entire career. Ozzie Guillen came out to argue the point for him and was ejected.
Later in the game, one inning later to be exact, he made the same call on Buehrle for a balk again and then ejected him for it. That is right. Mark Buehrle, the most peaceful man who ever lived, was ejected for a balk and dropped his mitt right after.
Mark Buehrle vs Joe West is one of the most memorable moments in baseball history.
It was one of the most embarrassing moments in West’s career because he looked really bad on this one. He clearly had an issue with Buehrle and the White Sox. It was infuriating to watch at the time but looking back you can see how funny of a moment it was.
Hawk Harrelson was on the mic calling the game and was outraged over it. He believed that West should be suspended for his actions here in a complete rage. Whenever Mark Buehrle was involved in something like that, it was always interesting because he is so mild-mannered.
Joe West is not going to be umpiring Major League games anymore so it won’t be a worry but it will be nice to have umpires who just call the game as they see it. We won’t have to deal with him anymore but there is no doubt that he provided some memorable moments.