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Thank You MLB For Joe West

The NLCS and the ALCS have been riveting series so far with many storylines and subplots.  After each and every game, there is so much to unpack and discuss.  In many ways, these series are all that is great about baseball.

The Brewers are trying to bullpen their way through the postseason.  Their efforts reached their peak yesterday with Craig Counsell pulling Wade Miley after he walked Cody Bellinger, so he could insert Brandon Woodruff.  The obvious goal there was to get the right-handed Woodruff in against a predominantly right-handed lineup.

The Dodgers have been dealing with the drama with Manny Machado not hustling and making dirty plays in the field.  Through all of it, Machado has been the best player in this series, and in a 13 inning Game 4 victory, he made the hustle plays to win the game.  In addition to Machado, the Dodgers have the usual postseason issues related to Clayton Kershaw, who followed a bad start with a gem yesterday.

In the ALCS, the Astros appeared poised to streamroll the Red Sox.  In Game 1, Chris Sale didn’t have his velocity, and he went to the hospital after the game.  In that game, the Astros beat up on what is a poor Red Sox bullpen.  It seemed as if this was going to be a recurring theme in this series except it hasn’t.  The Red Sox have won three straight games with the Red Sox taking advantage of the Astros bullpen while Alex Cora has used a deft touch, including his use of Rick Porcello in the pen, to navigate his way through each game even with Craig Kimbrel nearly pulling an Armando Benitez each game.

We should be talking about each and every single thing from each of these series.  We should be talking about George Springer having another phenomenal postseason run.  Same thing for Justin TurnerOrlando Arcia is playing at another level this postseason.  There are so many great stories and more, and today, we’re not talking about any of them.

No, we’re talking about Joe West because he made a decision which may have changed the course of not just Game 4 of the ALCS but the entire series.

Mookie Betts was about to rob Jose Altuve of a two run homer until his glove hit the hands of some fans in the stands.  While there may not have been a definitive video, it is about 99 percent certain Betts reached into the stands, which means pursuant to MLB rules, it should have been a home run.

Before discussing further, it’s important to see West’s position.  It is best shown in this video:

Joe West is nowhere near position to make that call.  Seeing him out there, it was clearly impossible for him to get into the correct position.  The right field umpire is really in no man’s land. and he felt comfortable enough to make a series changing call.  In addition, MLB did not have enough cameras in place to properly analyze a call which was still fairly obvious.

Really, unless you are from Boston, an MLB replay official, Joe West, or a horrid analyst like Billy Ripken, you knew it was not fan interference.  And yet, here we are.  Stuck with a bad call in what should be a great series.  Worse yet, instead of discussing all the great things which are happening in the postseason, we are focusing on Joe West.

Time and again, we hear from Rob Manfred about all that is wrong with baseball.  He has publicly chastised Mike Trout for not being available for MLB promotions.  And yet, while he’s focusing on all that’s wrong and blaming players for his marketing department not being able to promote players, he allows Joe West to go out there and be Joe West and not make sure there are enough cameras in place to mitigate against that.

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