Major League Baseball announced today that Umpire Joe West has been suspended for one game without pay for grabbing the jersey of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon during the Club's Sunday, September 14 game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
MLB Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre said: “Joe West handled himself appropriately in ejecting Papelbon after the player's lewd gesture to the fans. I fully understand that Joe was reacting to a player who was acting aggressively, and can understand his frustration with the situation. However, Joe knows that an umpire cannot initiate physical contact with a player just as a player cannot initiate physical contact with an umpire. I spoke to Joe about the incident, and he admitted that there was a better way to handle the situation. I consider this matter closed.”
West will serve the suspension tonight instead of working his assigned game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.