FanDuel - WFBC

September 26, 2007

MLB Suspends Umpire Winters for Remainder of Season: Major League Baseball today suspended veteran umpire Mike Winters for the remainder of the season after an investigation of his run-in with the San Diego Padres' Milton Bradley Sunday in San Diego. Bradley suffered a torn ACL after being restrained and ultimately wrestled to the ground by San Diego Manager Bud Black.

posted by The_Black_Hand to baseball at 04:02 PM - 25 comments

I'm sure Bud Black is feeling great right about now.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:10 PM on September 26

Wouldn't you like to know exactly what Winters said to Bradley?

posted by kcfan4life at 04:26 PM on September 26

From what I gather, he called him a "fucking piece of shit."

posted by cl at 04:56 PM on September 26

It is crazy that an umpire thinks he has the right to bait a player like that. He should be suspended a lot longer than the rest of this season (a whopping 5 games). If Bradley was not injured I am sure MLB would have swept Winters' actions under the rug and Bradley would be the one suspended.

posted by urall cloolis at 05:34 PM on September 26

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one on Bradley's side.

posted by freeze_over98 at 06:29 PM on September 26

Everywhere Bradley goes, trouble follows. You can give the guy the benefit of the doubt only so many times. The umpire was out of line, but Bradley's got to accept responsibility for getting in these situations over and over again.

posted by dusted at 06:45 PM on September 26

A lot of these umpires have an ego bigger than Barry Bond's head. I don't watch a game to watch an umpire throw people out. The moron deserves a lot more than a lousy five game suspension.......

posted by shudacudawuda at 06:56 PM on September 26

Everywhere Bradley goes, trouble follows. You can give the guy the benefit of the doubt only so many times. The umpire was out of line, but Bradley's got to accept responsibility for getting in these situations over and over again. That is exactly why Winters thought he could get away with baiting him, which in my opinion makes it a lot worse. "In 26 years of baseball, I can honestly say that's the most disconcerting conversation I have ever heard from an umpire to a player," first base coach Bobby Meacham said. "It was almost like he wanted to agitate the whole thing.

posted by urall cloolis at 07:00 PM on September 26

It is really a shame that an seasoned umpire like Mike Winters would say crude and tasteless words to Milton Bradley. An Umpire or any other officials in any Professional Sport should be held accountable for their actions when they say vicious words or things to provoke a player. Even though Bradley has been known to have a hot temper in his Career. Umpire Winters should not say anything to ignite a player such as Bradley or any other in Fact. If Major League Baseball can fine a person over a period of time for using Steroids; I think Fines should be imposed on umpires who does such things as antagonizing a player. Umpire Winters got off light; I think he should have been suspended longer.

posted by Smooth at 07:03 PM on September 26

I have to wonder if this is just the first step. Something had to be done quickly, as the same umpiring crew will be officiating the series between the Padres and the Brewers this coming weekend.

posted by CountZero at 07:49 PM on September 26

""He wanted to get Milton boiling for some reason. Milton, he held his cool." If that's him holding his cool, I'd sure hate to see him flip out.

posted by deadcowdan at 09:04 PM on September 26

That was Milton holding his cool- you have obviously never seen him completely flip out. The point is that Winter is the one that provoked the entire incident. Milton held his cool for several innings and up until the point that he took his lead off first base. The umpire still was spewing profanities, Milton held his cool enough to call timeout, touch first then go after Winter. I do not blame him at all. To provoke a player in the heat of a game when you get paid big bucks to be an impartial umpire is way below the belt. He made a difference in the game at that point (wonder if he is in with NBA ref Donaghy). He should not get the privilege of getting his job back and should be banned from not only MLB, but also the minors and little league. Yes that is harsh, but umpires get paid their money for being good umpires, but also for having thick skin and being able to take it from the players while not giving it back. In this case he mainly just attacked a pro player because he thought he could get away with it due to the players reputation.

posted by urall cloolis at 09:32 PM on September 26

To provoke a player in the heat of a game when you get paid big bucks to be an impartial umpire is way below the belt. I also wonder how many times his "impartial" ass was behind the plate while Bradely was batting. Or any other player he just happened not to like either. What if he didn't care for the pitcher that day. I have to agree with uc above on this,and not give him his job back at all.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:43 AM on September 27

I don't know if it's because Winters just doesn't like Bradley but this incident started to escalate during the game. When Bradley was called out on strikes, he flipped his bat and Winters told the home plate ump, Brian Runge that Bradley flipped his bat towrds him. The next time Bradley had an at-bat, Runge asked Bradley if he indeed flipped his bat at him. Bradley denied this and asked Runge who told him that and the ump said that it was Winters. When Bradley got on first after a single, he asked Winters if he told Runge that he threw his bat towards him and that's when Winters yelled profanities towards Bradley and the situation escalated. I agree that Winters should be suspended however, I don't think he should lose his job over this. Fine him, suspend him, bar him from this year's playoffs but this isn't something he should lose his job over. As far as Bradley goes, his season is done with a torn ACL and yes he is a hot-head but this situatation wouldn't have started if Winters would've acted accordingly and with professional conduct.

posted by BornIcon at 05:36 AM on September 27

cl Did he say that for sure or this a stab at humor?

posted by brickman at 07:43 AM on September 27

Do you guys really think this is an isolated incident? I would think that umpires pretty routinely jaw with players over past indiscretions. This incident is magnified because Bradley ended up getting hurt (and doing his usual "seeing red"). Winters deserves some punishment - but let's not get all end-of-the-world on his ass. That's as ridiculous as his behaviour.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:12 AM on September 27

Do you guys really think this is an isolated incident? I would think that umpires pretty routinely jaw with players over past indiscretions. Maybe -- but if so, maybe it's a trend that needs a hard second look. Running your mouth is a part of sports, to some extent -- between players, between fans, between players and fans -- but I don't think officials should be playing this game.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:41 AM on September 27

brickman - That's really what Winters said, says Bradley.

posted by cl at 10:09 AM on September 27

Do you guys really think this is an isolated incident? I would think that umpires pretty routinely jaw with players over past indiscretions. No one pays for a ticket to see an official. Refs are there to make sure that the rules and regulations are enforced, not to participate in a profanity-laced screaming match with an athlete. Winters was wrong regardless who he was having an argument with.

posted by BornIcon at 12:57 PM on September 27

When I was an apprentice umpire, my mentors taught me to make the call and promptly forget it. If a player or a coach had something to say, I was to listen respectfully, explain what I saw, and end the conversation. If the player or coach continued to argue, I was told to keep my mouth shut except to warn the individual when he was getting to close to "the line". If the individual persisted, eject him, but never, ever, ever say anything personal or disrespectful to a player or a coach. We also were taught never to say anything to another umpire about a call or situation unless that umpire asked us for a comment. Winters going up to Brian Runge with the tale of the thrown bat is on a par with your third grade classmate who tells the teacher that you were passing notes behind her back. There are too many umpires in the game who seem to need to exhibit their machismo in order to control a game. The way to control a game is to hustle, be in position, make good calls, and remember that you are just part of the playing field. I've never bought a ticket to watch an umpire.

posted by Howard_T at 01:03 PM on September 27

Maybe -- but if so, maybe it's a trend that needs a hard second look. Running your mouth is a part of sports, to some extent -- between players, between fans, between players and fans -- but I don't think officials should be playing this game. No one pays for a ticket to see an official. Refs are there to make sure that the rules and regulations are enforced, not to participate in a profanity-laced screaming match with an athlete. Yes, that's probably all true. But it's just basic human fallibility - guys working in an all guy environment will just naturally tend to a certain level of jerkassery. If Bradley didn't get hurt would the umpire be even under this much scrutiny? I imagine umps bait players, players bait umps, guys call each other motherfuckers, you know - Sports! It's mostly professional, but it also a pretty elite private club. They can get away with stuff that would be considered in bad taste elsewhere, I imagine. Hell, I read Ball Four. Anyway - my point is it's an overreaction.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:53 PM on September 27

I can't believe a professional umpire would say just a thing. Needs to be thrown out of baseball.

posted by brickman at 06:40 PM on September 27

We still don't know exactly what the umpire said... but we all know that Bradley has a short fuse. While I feel Bradley is the least wrong between the two, he didn't have any buisness trying to charge him like he did- which is going to cost him, and his team a chance in the playoffs. Getting back to Winters, I dont see how he will be able to keep his job. Knowing how Selig is, a long suspension or firing is definately in order.

posted by Kendall at 08:48 PM on September 27

Winters apologized to the umpire's Union over the indent, but has no intention of apologizing to Bradley... He admitted he did in fact say it, thats why the union isn't appealing the suspension.

posted by freeze_over98 at 08:43 AM on September 28

If that's him holding his cool, I'd sure hate to see him flip out. I most certainly have. I was at the game at Dodger Stadium a few years back when Bradley, still with LA at the time, went absolutely bonkers after getting a plastic bottle tossed at him from the bleachers. I had heard for years before this (going back to his days with Cleveland) that MB used his inner rage to inspire his play, but after witnessing that utter meltdown (screaming, throwing the bottle back in the stands, ripping off his jersey, actually urging the fans to boo him louder) I knew this dude had some serious anger management issues... That said, the umpire was out of line. Winters' comment was asinine and obviously intended to bait Bradley; why would he declare Bradley a "fucking piece of shit" unless he knew he was a complete mental case? I have no problem with trash talking, but maybe a little wit could be involved, not simply a recitation of expletives. The umps are supposed to be the level-headed ones on the field, and I don't think that reflexively dissing Milton Bradley is a level-headed move.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:34 AM on September 28

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