June 14, 2009

You're all out!: High school umpire Don Briggs made the most of the classic ejection call - "Yer outta here" - by ejecting the entire crowd last Thursday in West Burlington, Iowa. Eventually, the crowd was allowed to return, but only under the agreement that "anyone making a negative comment toward the officials would be ejected from the premises and could be charged with disorderly conduct..."

posted by BoKnows to baseball at 11:13 PM - 18 comments

one word-


posted by irunfromclones at 12:32 PM on June 15

"I know it sounds like I'm the bad guy but it was the crowd," Briggs said. "If I got the control to ask one person to leave, I feel like I can ask them all to leave."

Heh. What a wazoo.

posted by dfleming at 01:23 PM on June 15

gotta love that ump- he took no sh.t from the fans and sent them packing. i think sometimes the crowd forgets why it is even there!

posted by hammertime at 02:35 PM on June 15

I was surprised to read that the guy had been calling games for over a decade, would have thought only a fairly inexperienced ump would lose his control like that.

posted by dviking at 02:46 PM on June 15

maybe ump was pushed to point of no return. it sucks sitting in stands listening to fans ranting and raving about the ump.

posted by hammertime at 02:59 PM on June 15

The ump sounds like a chump. Some people in one area were "being mouthy," so the entire crowd had to go? That's his entire explanation -- they were mouthy?

posted by rcade at 03:04 PM on June 15

Don Briggs ain't even seen mouthy!

posted by dfleming at 03:13 PM on June 15

Crowds at the high school, Babe Ruth, and American Legion games I called were usually sparse, but once in a while could be larger and rowdy. The good news was that the larger crowds were remote from the playing field, so there was never any problem. I did not like having fans behind the backstop, obviously because of unwarranted critique of my always excellent strike zone (in my estimation). It never bothered me to have the fans on me, as I usually could tell that it was one-sided. There were a few times when I would have liked to toss the fans, but it was only because I was in a bad mood. The experienced coaches knew how far to push the umpires, and it was often fun to go nose-to-nose, because most of those confrontations were "planned" in order to fire up a team. In about 20 years of umpiring, I ejected a total of 1 coach, 2 players, and 0 fans. The coach was tossed for not listening, and both players were ejected because of violations for which the rules specified ejection, not because their offenses were serious.

posted by Howard_T at 04:01 PM on June 15

I look forward to the day robot umps call games. I'll take my chances with the inevitable robot revolution.

posted by tron7 at 04:52 PM on June 15

If I had my choice I would want Frank Drebin as my ump.

@dfleming - that's just wrong.

posted by smithnyiu at 05:24 PM on June 15

Whee, a sports story from Iowa.

Yeah, that's pretty much my only input.

posted by boredom_08 at 05:54 PM on June 15

Well, that Queen isn't going to save herself.

Enrico Polazzo! Enrico Polazzo!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:05 PM on June 15

I think the school and district should hesitate hiring him again. Cmon, an umpire that can't handle the heat? Field of Dreams my ass.

For Briggs, who said he has umpired Iowa high school games for about a decade, there is no hesitation to umpire again.

posted by scuubie at 10:33 PM on June 15


Tell me, when the fans of one team are giving you a rough time about your strike zone, does it have the tendency to get smaller? I mean, in the more extreme cases. I have similar theories when it comes to officiating and dining out:

Treat the officials and chefs in your life fairly. They can directly affect the outcome of your ballgame and meal. And I hate it when my soup tastes like someone's thumb that's been riding up their own arse.

I mean, not that I know what that tastes like. Soooo......erm....... Enrico Polazzo! Enrico Polazzo!

posted by THX-1138 at 02:16 AM on June 16

Let's see the ump try that at a Red Sox-Yankee game sometime.

posted by dbt302 at 12:22 PM on June 16

Actually, THX, I tried to bear down and make sure I was more consistent. I didn't want to give anyone any excuse for thinking I was biased in any way. I had one incident in which some fans behind the backstop were commenting unfavorably about my strike zone (a little tighter than they wanted) while their team was in the field. The next half inning, with their team at bat, I heard the comment to the effect, "at least he's consistent both ways". I took it as a compliment.

...and try never to ask about the secret ingredient in the salad dressing.

posted by Howard_T at 04:19 PM on June 16

Word, Howard. Word.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:32 PM on June 16

As a multiple sport official for over 15 years now, there does come a time in a game where the fans are start to take the game away from what it is. The game is there for the participants, not the fans (at the grass roots level of course). I have had players come up to me on more than one occasion and request to have fans removed because it was detracting from the game. I have asked people to leave from games ranging to 8 year old kids playing hockey up to the college level. When the fan was removed from the college game, there was a standing ovation. It can be that bad at times. If Mr. Briggs has been officiating for over 10 years, he has thick skin. Something caused him to gas the whole crowed. I have heard of it happening before and I am sure it will happen again. The fans should be there to support the teams and players, not to vent their frustration and something they have no control over. When fans are in good spirits, it makes the game more enjoyable for all involved.

posted by pettym at 11:57 AM on June 17

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