Cubs able to keep hats on with West in the house

The Joe West-led umpiring crew moved from the South Side to North Side this weekend and is working the Cubs-Reds series at Wrigley Field.

That group had a couple of memorable moments during the White Sox-Cardinals series this week. West broke the record for most games umpired in the major leagues with career outing No. 5,376 on Tuesday.

Then in the series finale, West ordered St. Louis reliever Giovanny Gallegos to change hats when he came in from the bullpen. There was a dark stain on the bill of the cap he was wearing.

This prompted Cardinals manager Mike Shildt to be ejected for saying something to West. After the game, Shildt went on a lengthy rant about MLB's quest to track down pitchers who might be using illegal substances.

Anyway, Cubs manager David Ross was asked about West's presence before the series against the Reds started.

"If they take somebody's hat, if that's just what it is, we'll get them a new hat," Ross said. "I think that's Major League Baseball's fight. I think the umpires are trying to do their job. I read Mike's comments and at the end of the day, I think the umpires have a lot on their plate and they've got a job to do.

"I think Major League Baseball is well-aware of everything that's going on and are trying to do things about that. I'm looking forward to seeing Joe West and congratulating him about everything."

Then during Friday's game, Ross confirmed that Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel had a conversation with West between innings. Kimbrel finished Friday's game without having to change hats. Ross did not divulge whether the discussion was hat related.

"I was aware of the conversation," Ross said. "That's deep dive reporting there. He had a conversation, and him and Joe worked that out. I'll just keep that in-house."

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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