Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Heat, humidity and hostility?
By Mark Saxon
Something always seems to go down when Joe West's umpiring crew is in Anaheim, and it often involves Bobby Abreu.
Tuesday night, four players -- three from the Detroit Tigers -- were ejected. Abreu also was tossed for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Angel Campos.
Two seasons ago, West called the Angels "the aggressors" after a benches-clearing incident with the Boston Red Sox even though Abreu and his teammates were objecting to a Josh Beckett fastball that sailed over Abreu's head -- after he had called timeout. Abreu, hitting coach Mickey Hatcher and Torii Hunter all were ejected from that game. Hatcher later was suspended and all three players were fined.
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington recently said that another member of West's crew, Angel Hernandez, is "just bad."
Speaking generally of tensions between teams and umpires -- which seem to have soared with the summer heat -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "Yeah, sometimes you feel stretches here with a certain crew. It's cyclical."
West, one of the more demonstrative umpires, is behind the plate for today's afternoon game. Here are the lineups: