Sometimes, there is a missed call in sports that is so bad, so mind-numbing, and so unfathomable that even the most casual fans of the sport have to recoil in horror.
Apparently, calls that bad can also get you indefinitely suspended.
One game official, a college baseball umpire, learned that the hard way after he whiffed on an astoundingly bad second-strike call — only to somehow make an even worse third-strike call.
Now, to offer what little fairness to the Southland Conference umpire that can be mustered, these two astoundingly bad strike calls came in a game in which the University of New Orleans Privateers beat the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 7-3, so these missed calls didn’t come in a particularly close game.
Still, that doesn’t make the two missed calls any better.
These are the kinds of calls that bring the integrity of the official into question (especially with the proliferation of sports betting across America) but you can judge for yourself below:
This is a division 1 baseball game… Can’t even call it a terrible call. Umpire made it personal. 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/zXOvzDmIbd
— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast 🎙 (@11point7) March 11, 2023
Delta Devils outfielder Davon Mims was at the plate, with two outs, at the top of the ninth inning. As unlikely as a Mississippi Valley State comeback was, it certainly wasn’t impossible, so you can forgive Mims for being very upset with the strike-two call.
That ball appeared to hit the dirt, a clear ball. When the ump called it a strike, a despondent Mims hopped around before pointing at the divot that the baseball left in the dirt.
It was a bad call and Mims had said his piece. Surely he would get a fair crack at this unlikely comeback with his next swing of the bat.
That swing never came.
The umpire, operating with the world’s most generous strike zone apparently, called a game-ending third strike on a pitch that was so obviously down and out that the announcer began calling it as such before blurting out an astounded, “Oh my gosh! Wow!”
Mims followed the umpire, screaming about the missed call, before his catcher ran up and held him back from compounding the situation.
Social media reactions were swift, ranging from people aghast at one of the very worst calls they had ever seen, perhaps ever, to bewildered amusement.
The Southland Conference was not nearly as amused with the horrific calls, and released a statement announcing the suspension of the offending umpire, Reggie Drummer.
The Southland Conference’s statement on the New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State Baseball contest on March 10. pic.twitter.com/jZ5mFeRj6K
— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) March 11, 2023
“The Southland Conference is committed to promoting and enforcing the principles and standards of good sporting conduct in connection with all Conference activities involving our member institutions, including competition against non-conference opponents,” the statement begins. “The Conference expects this conduct to be upheld by all game participants.
“After a thorough review of the New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State baseball contest on March 10, 2023, the Southland Conference confirmed the home plate umpire’s conduct and actions were deemed detrimental to the Conference and in violation of Section 3 Character and Conduct of the CCA Mechanics Manual for Baseball.
“As a result, the umpre has been removed from the series and has been suspended indefinitely from Southland Conference baseball games.
“The conference will have no further comment.”
Of note, the Privateers, who technically “benefited” from the missed calls (again, they were up a significant amount), are in the Southland Conference. The Delta Devils play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
In spite of the dubious conditions surrounding their 7-3 win on Friday, the Privateers made an emphatic statement on Saturday with an eye-popping 35-3 win over the Delta Devils, a school record for runs scored.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.