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October 25, 2019
Major League umpire Joe West has sued former Los Angeles Dodger catcher Paul Lo Duca for defamation after he alleged West gave pitcher Billy Wagner a bigger strike zone in exchange for letting the umpire borrow a vintage car.
West contends Lo Duca said during an April 18 podcast on The Action Network that he had been ejected 15 times during his major league career and eight or nine had been by West.
A four-time All-Star, Lo Duca played in the major leagues from 1998-2008. Andrew Mongelluzzi, his last listed agent, did not return a call seeking comment.
West’s suit also named The Action Network as a defendant. The Action Network did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The 66-year-old West is the major leagues’ senior umpire. He debuted in 1976, became a full-time staff member two years later and worked 5,312 regular-season games, second to Bill Klem’s 5,370.