Joe West

Shocker: Joe West was wrong to confiscate Austin Davis' scouting report

Shocker: Joe West was wrong to confiscate Austin Davis' scouting report

Wait, Joe West was wrong?

Consider us, and the many of you who spoke out on social media Saturday night, shocked.

Last night in the eighth inning, West, the veteran umpire of more than 5,000 games, approached Phillies reliever Austin Davis and confiscated the scouting report Davis had been referencing during the inning, considering it a “foreign substance.”

Sunday, West is admitting that he did that in error.

During Sunday’s game, Ben Davis reported on NBC Sports Philadelphia that there was a lack of communication between the umpires and the league. West indicated to Davis that the umpires were never informed that the use of scouting reports was allowed.

That has now changed.

Davis continued to say that the league has made it clear to the umpires that use of such scouting reports was acceptable, if the player is not delaying the game. 

This tweet by Todd Zolecki confirms that report, citing MLB rule 6.03(c)(7).

We have entered the final month of the season and Davis has been using the cards throughout the year without issue. If a play can be reviewed, why couldn’t West consult with MLB to make sure he wasn’t acting in error when he confiscated the card from Davis?

The game of baseball is evolving and the use of scouting reports by pitchers is part of the work done by the Phillies' scouting department. It’s unfortunate that the umpires didn’t know the rules when they stepped out on to the field last night.

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