Joe West called ‘Karen’ and worse for ejecting Nats GM Mike Rizzo from luxury box
MLB players, fans and media consider Joe West to be a poor umpire at this stage of his career. He’s bad at making calls and acts imperious on the field.
He displayed the latter trait Sunday when he called for security at Truist Park, home of the Braves, to escort Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo from his suite because Rizzo was yelling at the umpires, in particular plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. West confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday night that he ordered the Washington executive removed.
West told the AP that Rizzo yelled at his crew earlier in the weekend series. “We informed the office that if it continued we’d stop it,” West said. “And we did.”
Those are high-grade rabbit ears, even if people can hear each other from anywhere in a stadium without spectators. West was the first base umpire Sunday.
“We’re in a pandemic situation, you can hear everything,” West told the AP.
It’s also indicative of how West goes about his business on the field: He demands that people respect his authority.
There was speculation the ejection was mask-related — Braves TV camers showed Rizzo maskless in his suite. That would have been rich coming from an umpire who doubts the accuracy of COVID-19 death numbers and is grudgingly following MLB protocols.
“I wouldn’t take that from a player. I wouldn’t take that from a manager,” West said of running Rizzo. “If it was Donald Trump, I’d eject him, too. But I’d still vote for him.”
MLB made a brief statement Sunday night acknowledging the ejection. “We will expect Joe West’s crew to provide a full account of their perspective, and we will follow up with them accordingly,” the league office said in part.
The AP did not have a comment from Rizzo.
The Twitterverse was shocked but not surprised that West, 67, would take action to get Rizzo tossed. The pejorative “Karen” made the feed.
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