During his 1979-2021 career, Joe West umpired more Major League Baseball games than anyone in history. A fan of West might say that he was an assertive, take-charge kind of umpire. A more cynical (and frankly, generally more accurate) view would be that he was often argumentative, seemingly creating conflicts when his job should be to resolve them. That apparently has not stopped.
A baseball subreddit recently found that a Wikipedia user, Crewchief22, was attempting to make edits to West’s Wikipedia page. West took issue with some of the things on his page, including detailing a 1983 incident when he shoved Joe Torre, the then-manager of the Atlanta Braves. Crewchief22’s alterations were not accepted and whoever Crewchief22 is was not happy.
Wikipedia user Crewchief22 tried to make edits to Joe West's Wikipedia page. Those edits were rejected, because they "did not appear to be constructive." This was Crewchief22's response.
And for anyone curious, Joe West umpire number was 22. pic.twitter.com/g2EqNXFZwe
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 12, 2023
And when that didn’t seem to work, West took it to the next level, threatening legal action.
Don’t forget the legal threat, after the edits weren’t allowed pic.twitter.com/jmI6IrtTxT
— Andrew Jordan (@APJordan_) February 12, 2023
Is there a shred of sympathy to be had for West here? Sure. Wikipedia, while a great tool, is also often a source of misinformation.
The problem is that West was a public figure for more than 40 years. People knew what he was about. He was an umpire who often made himself the center of attention. He was a complete control freak. Now, more than a year after he’s retired, West doesn’t have the same control. He can’t waive a magic wand and get people to acquiesce to his whims, knowing that he can (and likely will) eject them for failing to do so.
And that certainly feels like it’s part of the issue here.
Ironically enough, West should be praising Wikipedia, Reddit and anyone else who’s helped unearth this story. It’s given him what he always craved — more time in the spotlight.