In the wake of umpire Joe West’s criticism that the Red Sox and Yankees play at a pace that is "a disgrace to baseball," Red Sox second Dustin Pedroia responded with some harsh words of his own.
"To call the Yankees and Red Sox, two of the best teams in baseball, ‘pathetic’ and ’embarrassing,’ that’s just ridiculous," Pedroia told ESPN.com. "If he doesn’t want to do Red Sox and Yankee games, he should tell the umpires’ union. Then when we’re in the World Series, he’ll be out of that assignment, too."
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera also weighed in, telling the New York Post, "If (West) has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us (the players) to do, swing at balls? … We don’t want to play four-hour games, but that’s what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do, and that’s play our game."
The teams played three times this week, with the game times at 3:46, 3:48 and 3:21. ESPN.com noted that 11 of the teams’ 18 games last season were longer than 3:21, with only one taking less than three hours to complete. The two teams played the longest nine-inning game of 2009 at 4:21, and had a 15-inning game that lasted 5:33.
West was quoted in Friday’s Record of Hackensack, N.J., as saying: "They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace. They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play."