July 26, 2021

MLB umpire Joe West has never missed a call. Just ask him (ESPN)

White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson was furious with MLB umpire Joe West, as many have been these past 44 years. On this day in 2010, West had called a second balk of the game on Mark Buehrle, and Hawk was so outraged he said on the air, “Joe West should retire!”

Two years later, after West had beaten larynx cancer, which had forced him to miss 18 games, West said, “Hawk comes barging into the umpires’ room after a game, screaming, ‘Where is that son of a b—-?’ Then he comes into the shower. I’ve got soap all over me. He says to me, ‘Look, we can fight each other and we can hate each other, but don’t you f—ing die on me, damn it!’

“We’ve been best friends ever since.”

Joe West told that story in February over an unsweetened iced tea at his gated country club outside of Orlando, Florida. He had just gotten his 67-year-old knees injected with StemEx. His knees are bone-on-bone, and that biannual treatment allows him to work, to crouch behind the plate, without pain. He told many stories that day; he…

Read “MLB umpire Joe West has never missed a call. Just ask him” at ESPN