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If you’re not familiar with MLB umpire Joe West, he has a long history of ridiculous shenanigans that suggest he may think the crowd is there to see him ump the game rather than to watch baseball.
For instance, some of his antics date all the way back 1994, when he called a strike on Raul Mondesi before Mondesi had even arrived to home plate. And just this year, he ejected A.J. Pierzynski in the middle of an at bat, turned to Pierzynski’s dugout and calmly said to the Braves’ manager, “You need a new catcher.”
On Thursday, he was back to his old tricks, as he spent a whopping 17 seconds in a staredown with Madison Bumgarner that ensured the cameras would have no choice but to focus in on him. After Bumgarner seemed upset with a call (which, to be fair, did look like it was outside), West immediately took off his mask and began to stare down the Giants’ All-Star hurler. Bumgarner would not be intimidated, however, and stared right back in West’s direction. What resulted was an epic battle between the two men, with the rules seeming to be that whomever looks away first, loses.
West ultimately won that battle. Then again, Bumgarner did get the last word in, with this passive-aggressive post-game quote.
“Joe was behind the plate?” he said. “I don’t pay attention to the umpires. I didn’t even realize he was back there.”
Yeah, right. We all know when Joe West is behind the plate.