Kill the Umpire – Or at least show him up.

Quite the scene in Pawtucket last night, Delmon Young attempts to make the locals forget the Izzy incident.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays top prospect Delmon Young is facing a potentially lengthy suspension after throwing his bat at an umpire’s chest during Wednesday night’s game at Pawtucket. Young took a called third strike from Pawtucket’s Jon Lester in the first inning of the International League contest. Following the strike call, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft refused to leave the batter’s box, glaring back at the home plate umpire for an extended period of time, according to those who witnessed the game.“He stood there, looking back for a long period of time, maybe 30 seconds,” Pawtucket broadcaster Dan Hoard recalled. “It was borderline, but not ridiculous from the vantage point of the broadcasting booth. I’ve learned since, from the Pawtucket catcher (Corky Miller), that the umpire told him to go back and he wouldn’t go.”

Young finally took a step or two toward his dugout when the umpire ejected him from the game. The timing of the ejection made it seem like Young said something to the umpire as he began his retreat, but Hoard said Miller told him Young was silent at the time.

Young then took a couple of steps and threw the bat at the umpire. According to AP reports, Young flipped the bat underhand. It sailed end over end and hit the umpire in the chest.

“It wasn’t with force, but I’d say that was his intent,” Hoard said. “He went back to the dugout and disappeared. That was the end of his night and the end of his playing for some time.” No one from the International League was available for comment on the incident. According to policy, the umpire will file a report with president Randy Mobley on Thursday. Mobley, in turn, will read it, interview those involved in the incident and make the decision what kind of suspension should be handed down.

This is not the first time Young has let his anger get the better of him. Last May, while playing in the Double-A Southern League for the Montgomery Biscuits, he drew a three-game suspension for bumping an umpire. He also was nearly ejected earlier in the season when, after being hit by a pitch, he flung his bat in the air and it landed about 20 feet from the pitcher.

“I’ve never seen anyone throw a bat at anybody. I’ve seen a lot of games and never seen that before.”

A first?

Hardly a first, and more a part of the “good old days” that some long for in the steroid age, funny how rage was so much more accepted back then eh?

About 100 years ago this type of incident was a commonplace occurance, the American League was founded in a direct attack on the type of ball the National League played in the 1890’s, the rough and tumble style caused many a melee and in the early part of the 20th century it wasn’t uncommon to see headlines like this:

Even longtime players who tangled with the umpire were given a pass by the press.

Of course this behavior was seen elsewhere too, as evidenced by this Federal League tussle, note that the manager in question was later banned by Landis for betting on games with Hal Chase.

At times it was more than just one as evidenced in this minor league fight from 1909.

In the mid 50’s a pitcher got into the press for attacking the ump in the Soutwest League.

Young will get a healthy suspension, and though his attack was less violent than the ones from the past the intent was the same, to show up the ump.

I went to a AAA game the other day (Beavers vs the Bees) and outside stood the AAA umpires with their picket signs and handouts. On one side of the handout was a poem about being an umpire and the last verse says it all about the umpire and why Young’s acts were the acts of an ungrateful, irresponsible player who should be glad he has the talent to take a called strike in front of thousands of fans.

BTW the last verse goes like this:

A thankless job, there’s no glory and no fame
Some may wonder why I do it…
It’s for my love of the game.

5 Responses to “Kill the Umpire – Or at least show him up.”

  1. Cincinnati Chili says:

    Brian,

    Good stuff. Do you know if there were ever any subsequent arrests after the New Haven game?

    I assume Rickey is Branch Rickey.

  2. Administrator says:

    Dom, I’ll followup on the New Haven incident, you’re correct that that is Rickey, the NY team also had Hal Chase and Willie Keeler

  3. BCubb says:

    They don’t make headlines like “ATTACK UMPIRE WITH BALL BATS.” any more.

    And to think Pete Rose got six months for poking an ump with his figure.

    Then there’s Juan Marichal whaling on John Roseboro.

  4. BCubb says:

    His finger… not his figure …

  5. BCubb says:

    And it was 30 days, not six months. Sorry about that …