Joe West will never be mistaken for Ed Hochuli. The veteran umpire isn't necessarily known for his muscular physique like the longtime NFL referee is. Quite the contrary. But a move by the guy nicknamed "Cowboy Joe" (yes, he has his own website) Tuesday night at Citi Field during a game between the Oakland A's and New York Mets proved blue is not only tough — but has a sense of humor.
With the Mets up 8-1 in the sixth inning (they would eventually win 10-1), A's catcher Stephen Vogt hit a foul ball down the first-base line. The liner tagged West squarely in the gut (or "the tum" as SNY analyst Keith Hernandez so aptly described). Major League Baseball's longest-tenured ump was unharmed. He then flexed his muscles and had a little laugh about the moment.
Moving to the World Cup, Uruguay's Luis Suarez apparently bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during La Celeste's 1-0 victory over the Azzurri to advance to the knockout stage. FIFA has launched an investigation into the act, which carries a minimum two-match ban and a maximum two-year ban. This is the third such incident for Suarez.
Taking his talents elsewhere?
Finally, Miami Heat star LeBron James has exercised the early termination option on his contract and will explore free agency.