Umpiring throughout MLB this year has been controversial, to say the least.
One of the worst officiated games in recent memory occurred recently when Doug Eddings almost singlehandedly gave the White Sox a win over the Blue Jays:
Famously, Madison Bumgarner was ejected from a game earlier this year after a bizarre incident where an umpire spent an excessive amount of time staring into his eyes while checking for banned substances on his hand.
But during Wednesday’s Phillies-Nationals game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Bill Miller went a step further in embarrassing umpire moments.
In the top of the 5th inning, the Nationals challenged a close tag play at second where the runner appeared to be safe but was called out on the field.
That’s when things got interesting.
Miller got on the mic to announce that the call on the field would stand, to incredulous reactions from the Nationals broadcasting crew.
But, more importantly, after the announcement, he forgot to turn off his mic, leading to the unintentional expletive:
Miller appeared to say, “F**kin just like, they told us just stare up into the press box.”
Beyond the f-bomb, Miller seems to be saying that New York told umpires to “stare up into the press box” when announcing the decision to let the call stand. He might have been referring to instructions on how to address the camera, but it’s an odd thing to say nonetheless.
Nationals broadcaster Bob Carpenter also noticed the inappropriate language, saying “Oops, better turn your mic off, Bill.”
Giving umpires a mic to announce replay decisions has been a positive development for transparency in MLB, but they’re going to have to make a concerted effort to remember to turn off their mics if they want to maintain a family friendly environment.
The inevitable robot umpires would never do this: