by Timohy Burke
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MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams was ejected Saturday from a baseball game for 10-year-olds after a profanity-laced tirade in which he called an umpire a "motherfucker" in front of the children, observers tell us.
Williams coaches his son's 10U Jersey Wild team, which was participating in a Ripken Baseball tournament in Aberdeen, Md. We've confirmed through several sources that Mitch Williams—who was once tossed from his daughter's youth basketball game for cussing at the ref—had complained about numerous calls throughout the game, ranging from balls and strikes to a close play at the plate that ended a Jersey Wild rally. This led to repeated arguments with umpires on the field.
One umpire finally confronted Williams after the former MLB pitcher shouted something to a parent in the stands about getting that umpire fired. The confrontation sparked a face-to-face argument that, one parent told us, was "just like the major leagues." Two different observers told us Williams had to be physically separated from the umpire by other coaches. Williams then refused to leave the field, causing a 10-minute delay in play; as a result of his antics, he was initially banned from the tournament.
Williams discussed the incident on Twitter this morning:
We've attempted to access the video of the incident, but the game in question is curiously unavailable from the service providing feeds from the rest of the tournament. An individual familiar with the situation informs us that after hearing Williams's explanation, Ripken Baseball officials lifted the ban—saying the umpire failed to act professionally. But according to our witnesses, the umpire's "unprofessional" behavior came well after Mitch Williams had been ejected and refused to leave. (Ripken Baseball "monitored" Williams closely during his team's two games today. Jersey Wild did not win the tournament.)
Here's how other people in attendance described the incident.
[Mitch Williams] just got kicked out his sons little league game for threatening an umpire at Ripken Stadium
He has been arguing balls and strikes and was upset about a play at the plate where his team was called out. In the top of the 5th while he was coaching first base he yelled to another parent that he would have the umpire fired. The Umpire confronted him and Mitch went off. He threatened the umpire called him a motherfucker in front of 10 year olds. They were faced to face inches from each other arguing. He had to be restrained by other coaches. The umpire rightfully kicked him out.
He refused to leave the field until speaking to he spoke to management. He left the field took off his jersey and watched the rest of the game from behind home plate without incident.
It was such a train wreck. He was arguing with calls and making comments to both of the umpires all game. He was coaching first base as the game was going on, and the second base umpire threw him out. He "said" he was making a comment to one of the parents in the stands, when the second base umpire tossed him. He was making comments the whole game about the bad calls, and the 2nd base ump just had enough.
He went nuts. He got into the umpires face like it was the major leagues. He claimed that the umpire who was about 65 years old threatened him and said to pick a time and a place to fight Mitch.
The game was delayed for about 10 minutes as they needed to call in an official from Ripken until he finally was removed. It was crazy. Never saw a player get ejected from a game and not leave. This is all going on while 10 year olds are playing baseball, or trying to play baseball.
Ironically, the audio at the beginning of the game is from Cal Ripken which talks about how parents should let the players play, the coaches coach, and the umpires umpire. (IE - parents, don't act like idiots). Mitch was the idiot.
I was very upset with the decision [to lift the ban] because Williams was confrontational all game, and it was clear to everyone there that whatever the ump said that was inappropriate came after he was already tossed and refused to leave the field, and the ump was reacting to Williams, not the other way around.
There's nothing worse than the Bad Sports Parent, and Williams has a bit of a history playing this role. In 2008, he was tossed from his then-10-year-old daughter's youth-league basketball game for dropping f-bombs on a referee. "I'm emotional when it comes to my kids," he explained later. "What I saw happening was completely unfair."
To contact the author of this post, write to email@example.com or find him on Twitter @bubbaprog. Photos used by permission.