April 9, 2010 in Sports

Umpire blasts tedious pace

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Boston’s David Ortiz was one player denied a timeout by home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
(Full-size photo)

By the numbers

6: Number of times in 2009 that Oakland had a three-game winning streak. (The A’s won their third straight from Seattle on Thursday.)

9,352: Attendance at PNC Park for Pirates-Dodgers game after first two games of season each had more than 30,000 fans.

Umpire Joe West blasted the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox just before Wednesday’s game, accusing the two clubs of being “pathetic and embarrassing” in dragging the pace of games and refusing to work with umpires.

The teams, notorious for the slow tempo of their games, were denied some timeouts in the batter’s box by home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez during Tuesday night’s 6-4 Yankees victory.

“They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace,” said West, chief of the umpiring crew that worked the three-game series in Boston. He was the home plate umpire Sunday. “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.”

West would not allow Hernandez to comment. Hernandez denied at least three timeouts Tuesday night called by Derek Jeter, Marcus Thames and Boston’s David Ortiz.

The first two games this season lasted 3 hours and 46 minutes and 3:48, respectively.

Aaron speaks out

Hank Aaron watches games these days and is perplexed as batter after batter tries to jack pitches out of the ballpark, obsessed with the long ball that made Hammerin’ Hank famous.

“I don’t think they understand the role of what they need to be doing,” Aaron said during a visit to The Associated Press. “I’m not saying all of them, but I think some players need to understand that they’re never going to hit 50 home runs or 45 home runs (a year). They’ve got to learn how to hit the ball to the opposite field and do the little things to help their ballclub win championships.”

He prefers not to discuss steroids, a subject that has followed him since Barry Bonds approached and surpassed Aaron’s total of 755 home runs.

Gallardo extended

The Milwaukee Brewers have become used to calling Yovani Gallardo their ace. Now he has a contract that keeps him in the fold with plenty of time to prove it.

Gallardo agreed to a $30.1 million, five-year deal that could be worth $42.5 million over six seasons. The agreement covers the right-hander’s arbitration- eligible years and the first season after he would have become a free agent.

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