The Oak Ridge Boys will be there. So will Commissioner Rob Manfred. And Chicago Bears icon Jim McMahon. Fourteen-time Grammy Award singer Emmylou Harris, too.
There will be another 130 guests and friends traveling to Chicago for the historic game Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
Joe West is scheduled to work his record 5,376th game when he squats behind the plate, surpassing Hall of Famer Bill Klem’s mark that has stood for 80 years.
“This record will never be broken," former umpire Terry Tata says. "It’s almost mathematically impossible."
I haven't seen a worse pander job since I listened to this week's snake draft and Carl opened his mouth before getting all pissy because the rest of us were having fun. I mean hooooolllllyyyyy shit what a hilariously BRUTAL article.
I know I get shit for overusing this statement, but I think this is a situation where it's perfectly acceptable and perhaps even necessary - Joe West STINKS. He STINKS at umpiring. Now, that's not to say he stinks as a human and multiple people have told me he's a great dude off the diamond, but the moment he steps between the chalk it's the Joe Show. Hawk Harrelson said it best:
"There are three rules in baseball: Catch the ball, pitch the ball, and don't mess with Joe West."
It really is the god's honest truth. Dude just loves tossing people for absolutely nothing. It gives him a tingle in his loins and it's as if he thinks fans enjoy watching it. He's wrong. The people aren't there to see him, but his actions make it seem like that's the way he feels.
For instance, he tossed Mark Buehrle for absolutely nothing about a decade ago and it birthed what might be the best Hawk rant of all time:
and Hawk nailed it. It's the Joe Show. To say he actually thinks the fans go to the game to see him isn't too farfetched, and Bob Nightengale knows that as much as anybody now. Take a look at this quote from the same article above:
“He’s like a traveling road show," says umpire Dan Bellino, who requested in January to be on West’s crew for the historic game. “He can’t walk through a hotel lobby without people stopping him. It’s like the parting of the red sea."
I mean WHAT THE FUCK am I reading?!?! The parting of the Red Sea for a fucking umpire? And an objectively bad one at that???
I'll say this loud and clear - the BEST umpires are the ones who are completely anonymous. We have no idea who they are and that's because they don't fuck up. Nobody talks about an umpire calling a good game. They talk about the ones that consistently call brutal games either behind the plate or on the bases. By far and away the three most well-known umps in the league are West, Angel Hernandez and CB Bucknor and that's because all three have been trash at what they do forever. Those three are a large part of the reason we have so many people clamoring for robotic strike zones.
But… congrats to West I guess? I weirdly think baseball wouldn't be the same without him tossing people for bull shit reasons or calling balls 10" off the plate strikes. Kinda need that heel and Joe West is as good as a heel as there is. At least he has thick skin and you don't hear about him outside of him fucking up a call. Angel Hernandez is just a crybaby little twat bag, so West has that going for him. That and the all time games umped record, which is pretty cool. I'm sure he'll find himself in Cooperstown, and not many people can say that… I just think it's for the wrong reason.
But congrats though. Sincerely. Kinda.