MLB has fired its final shot in what I like to call the Papelcrotch Incident. They've suspended umpire/human jowl Joe West, who ejected Jonathan Papelbon on Sunday, for one game without pay. West grabbed Papelbon's jersey during their heated post-ejection exchange, and for that he gets one whole game. Earlier this week Papelbon received a seven game suspension for, well, grabbing himself.
MLB's own Joe Torre released a statement, and I urge you to read it below because it will make your head hurt.
Umpire Joe West has been suspended 1 game w/o pay for 9/14 incident with Jonathan Papelbon. Statement from Joe Torre: pic.twitter.com/suDAcUU2Oa— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) September 17, 2014
That statement actually ends up eating itself. I like how it begins by saying "Joe West handled himself appropriately" and ends with "he admitted there was a better way to handle the situation." There's a deference to Joe West (and umpires in general) in that statement that I do not understand, and it's a deference that isn't present whenever they talk about a player.
Plus, if initiating contact with a player is one of the absolute no-nos of umpiring, then a one-game suspension is laughable. Umpires are pretty much free to be terrible at their jobs, because they will never be seriously punished for it. That's a pretty attractive reason to become an umpire, if you ask me. Until I remember that if I did become an umpire, everyone would hate me. (Also, I'm a woman, and the unofficial umpiring rules stipulate that being in possession of a uterus disqualifies me from the job.)
On the plus side, at least we as a society will have one game without having to watch Joe West's flesh-covered doorknob head quivering and rippling every time he moves. The man truly is The Human Jowl.