Mitch Williams ejected from a child’s baseball game for cussing out the umpire

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Mitch Williams, a man who MLB Network pays presumably good money to offer his nuanced and experienced opinions about baseball, did this over the weekend. Deadspin reports:

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 “motherf****r” in front of the children, observers tell us.

Deadspin has a detailed report plus pictures, plus Williams’ own defense of himself via Twitter. Williams claims that the umpire was the one who was out of control. And Ripken Baseball — the organization that sanctioned the tournament in which the team Williams coaches is playing — did state that the umpire acted “unprofessionally.” Still, Deadspin has statements from numerous witnesses that the ump’s bad behavior only after Williams went crazy on him.

But really: whether the umpire started it or Williams did, both of them are out of their gourd for letting a little league game inspire this sort of escalation. Just absolutely crazy that anything could inspire anyone to these kinds of antics in front of a bunch of 10-year-olds.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

Associated Press
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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.