Saturday, August 25, 2012

A.A. Umpire Fired After Physical Ejection of Manager

An American Association umpire has been fired after a physical ejection during a Tuesday Independent League contest between the Sioux City Explorers and Kansas City T-Bones. In the bottom of the third inning, Explorers batter Peter Barrows was ruled to have fouled a pitch with two strikes that T-Bones manager Kenny Hook thought had been missed entirely for a third strike. Following an argument in which Hook was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Riggers, Hook snatched down his hat before strongly bumping the umpire.

Umpire fired for a bump?
Instead of simply acknowledging the bump, however, Riggers responded with a minor chest bump of his own as Hooks and Riggers continued to verbally joust, Hook pushed away by an assistant coach and Riggers guided back by third base umpire Dixon Sturman as first base umpire Justin Anderson observed the proceedings.

Oddly enough, Hook received a three-game suspension while Riggers was expelled from the league. In May, umpire Bob Davidson was suspended by MLB for repeated violations of BOC's situation handling standards after a run-in with Charlie Manuel.

Video: Hooks argues, is ejected and bumps Riggers, who responds with an argument of his own
News: X's and Oh's ... Riggers fired after third-inning dust-up with Hook
Image: Animated GIF of Hook bumping Riggers ... who in turn delivers a minor bump to Hook

62 comments :

RichMSN said...

Independent baseball, where the inmates *do* rule the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Way to back up the umpires.
Pathetic to fire him for this.
Open season on the blues in this league.

Anonymous said...

In the AA it all starts with the leadership at the top, or lack there of! I don't think firing the guy was necessary, hell he only made $90 for that headache! I'm glad somebody had the balls to fight back for a change!

Anonymous said...

It always has been!

Anonymous said...

That was it?! A single small bump as a reaction from physical contact instigated by the manager? The American Association ought to be ashamed of itself for such a ludicrous decision. A suspension of Riggers would have been far more appropriate, if there was to be any penalty imposed at all.

Anonymous said...

I'd be happy to be fired from this league if that is how they treat there umpires.

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up, the umpire assignor for the American Association is a guy I've worked with. He's a very old school, no bullspit kind of guy.

He's a very good guy, but he doesn't take any crap from his umpires.

He likely wasn't the sole person making the decision to fire this umpire.

Ever thought this wasn't the only incident this umpire has had? Not saying it is or isnt but I don't think we have all the information on this.

Anonymous said...

Miles has never been an umpire supporter and I bet Kevin was handcuffed with Miles's orders. This just puts egg on both of their faces.

Anonymous said...

This is not a minor league affiliated with MLB. This is independent league baseball. Bottom of the barrel as far as talent. Some umpires working this league have professional experience but were let go. These guys are hanging on, trying to make a buck because they don't have any other options. I can only imagine what they get paid and no benefits to boot. If you're going to post articles about this league, you might as well post things about the local American Legion leagues as well.

Don said...

This sort of behavior is shocking. Umpires need to show more poise in my opinion. I'm glad an example was made of the situation.

tmac said...

@ anon 9:45 if Ignorance is bliss you must be one happy guy!!

There are currently six former AAA umpires on staff of the American Association and 17 former American Association umpires in affiliated ball. Did someone get turned down for a job???

Anonymous said...

Different Anon replying. Yes Tim we know who you are and that you are on Kevin's A.A. staff. You're the man. Go get a real job.

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 10:32

Let's not start another flame war, we've had enough of those. Let's just all agree that both the manager and the umpire were wrong, both should have been suspended, the firing was out of line, the "league" deserves to go out of business, and hopefully every ump in that "league" will eject for the slightest ejectable offense just to show the "league" office what they think.

UmpsRule said...

I was wondering, does anyone know which broadcaster it is (I don't believe it's Palmer) who says that Mark Wegner is having a real bad night in this video: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19441979&c_id=mlb

Mundane said...

I would say Jim Hunter.

SJR said...

Just watched the video and the manager's bump was much more pronounced than the umpire's. That leads me to agree with @8:32 and assume that this was not an isolated incident with this umpire. To be fired solely over this bump is asinine. Suspended without pay, yes. Fired, no.

Also, wow, I didn't know they worked 3-man in Independent Leagues. I thought it was 2-man up to AA.

SJR said...

Agreed. That's definitely not "Pancake" to his credit actually was pretty fair in that clip. I'm shocked.

UmpsRule said...

Alright, thanks guys. I'm redoing my list of Bob Carpenter Awards (an award for poor broadcasting with regards to umpires) and I wanted to make sure I picked on the right guy. (I know, that's a ridiculous way to spend time, but like Tim Kurkjian once said, and on national televsion no less, I need a hobby!)

Mundane said...

Could this be the same Mike Riggers who worked as a replacement ump in 1995


http://news.google.com/newspap,es?id=YcBeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YDEMAAAAIBAJ&dq=mike%20riggers&pg=4855%2C3511338

Retrosheet has a Mike Riggins in their directory, but this could be a typo as he worked same games in article

SJR said...

Something went wrong when you posted your link. I think this might be what you wanted: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YcBeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YDEMAAAAIBAJ&dq=mike%20riggers&pg=4855%2C3511338

Anonymous said...

yes they are the same guy

Anonymous said...

No it's not the same guy. This is Mike Riggers first year working professional baseball.

Anonymous said...

Professional baseball?

Anonymous said...

If that is the Riggers who worked during the strike in 1995 and conveniently had his name changed to Riggins or the reporters did not hear correctly, then he is 62 years old. Why bother with this crap at 62 and 90 bucks. Not worth it. Can't go anywhere with it either. What does major D1 pay if he is a good umpire. Take the money in the Spring in D1 and let those who want no support work this league.

Ineva Mistakall said...

I think Hook made a comment about rotten oranges and away they went.

http://www.theorangeguy.com/

Anonymous said...

Is $90 a game what these leagues pay or are people just guessing and making up a number?

Anonymous said...

Yes it is true.

Anonymous said...

Making up numbers. They make considerably more than $90 a game.

Anonymous said...

Almost has to be something more to the story. Hard to believe they would fire him for this. But, I have heard enough stories about the way umpires get treated from that league, that this isn't totally shocking to me.

Anonymous said...

90 is more then what minor leaguers make per game. Not sure if they get a per diem our not though.

Anonymous said...

Two umpires travel full-time and are salary. The 3rd is an area guy who makes $90 a game to be called a homer and have his integrity questioned by every visiting team.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Wynn is a piece of **** umpire supervisor. The AA is the rattiest of any Indy league to work in.

Anonymous said...

To bad the late Joe Ryan is not in charge of this league, even if it is independent.

Anonymous said...

It's not $90 a game. Get your facts right before you speak.

Anonymous said...

There is more to the story. All these wanna be high school umpires think they know what they're talking about, and they don't.

Anonymous said...


That bump was more than just a bump it bordered on assault... and when you assault a grown man...well a grown man is going to respond how a grown man is going to respond. I think it'd be a different story if he had knocked him one in the kisser, but nothing about this warranted firing. No matter to Mr. Winn, though. You either kiss his ass and work for him or you don't and you don't. He's got a whole line of yes-men waiting for the job.

Bobby Lobby said...

To clear things up, the locals make $90 a game with no per-diem. The full time guys make about on-par with rookie ball including per diem, maybe a little more.

Anonymous said...

So you are saying the full time guys make less than the locals?

Jon Terry said...

I have a friend who spent five years in the AA - he's now in the California League. His crew was once involved in a series of ejections in a game between the St Paul Saints (remember the tv show?) and the Shreveport Captains. At the end of the day, I seem to recall five ejection, all from the same team, and at least one of the other umpires was fired for his conduct. The video of the whole thing was ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

A non at 7:24. a quick look at the rookie scale of 1900 per month means $63 per game for 30 games a month. $90 would be a beginning AAA umpire. So the locals make $90 and the full-time $63. Guess the full time get more games for less money and come out better over all by working more games.

Anonymous said...

Guess Mr. Winn makes all the money, because his staff sure doesn't, especially since he is in charge of both the Can-Am League and the AA.

Anonymous said...

Had a friend get hired in the AA last season worked one game a quit not only is the league ratty but the umpiring supervisors and front office are just as if not more ratty than the players and managers.

Anonymous said...

Seems like they should just name it "rat league" then.
Too bad all the umpires don't just quit and let them get guys off the street, since they are just a bunch of meat in the scheme of things anyway.

Anonymous said...

So this guy incharge of umpires that everyone seems to know, did he ever umpire in his life or is he just a d-bag that has no clue about umpiring and just thinks he does?

Anonymous said...

"To clear things up" locals make $100 a game no per diem. Been lik that for 2 years now that I know of. Rookies make $2800 a month including their per diem. CC's make more.

Anonymous said...

I guarantee you that you're friend didn't work jus one game and quit.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet that more than half of you guys trashing the league have never actually worked in the league. Yes it's a grind. It's not supposed to be easy. If it was then all of you glorified college guys would be doing it. Instead of bagging the league and it's umpires, how about show a little respect for the guys that are out handling situations that not some regular umpire can control.

Anonymous said...

I worked the league a few years ago after being released from milb. I made $2900.00 a month salary and meal money was $750.00 a month. My partner was young and made less but went back and got hired by Klemm and is now in long A. I still work as a local from time to time as the league helped me when I needed a job.

Anonymous said...

I have never worked Indy ball or pro ball at any level. I do have some friends that are in the game and they tell me that if I don't get out at school this is the league to work in. It would not even be about the money but just about getting to work the best level of ball I can. I hope I make it out if school so Indy ball won't be an option.

Anonymous said...

I think this is horse s---. The league supervisor and president have no backbone to sum it up nicely. You have a manager that goes ballistic and literally assaults an umpire and you turn your back and give him a 3 game suspension. The umpire reacts to a situation after being assaulted and you fire the guy. I'm a sports official and I would not have tolerated his behavior. The league on the other hand must condone this type of behavior. My opinion is if you fire the umpire you MUST FIRE the
Low life manager. What example have you set for millions of people out there. All in all it probably boils down to money. The manager makes money for the league and the umpire is the scape goat. Shame on the league, supervisors, president and low life manager. Lastly I hear this manager is a Jc coach or has been. Let me know where he is cause I have some young baseball prospects that I don't want him anywhere around. If this type of behavior was done in the real working world that manager would be in the unemployed line. Let him get a real job and see how long he lasts.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the tripleA rosters and out of the 56 guys working today in triple A 9 have worked for this group in one of the leagues they run now or have run. That's 16% of the tripleA staff.

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 8:37

I don't know if this supervisor knows anything about umpiring or not, but keep in mind most people are astonishingly and embarrassingly ignorant about umpiring, yet think they know everything there is to know about it.

Anonymous said...

Kevin worked college baseball and Indy ball.

Anonymous said...

They have had many umpires move to pro ball. I know a guy that was with them for 5 years and is in the Cal now. We were in the same umpire school class and he is moving up quickly.

Anonymous said...

I would think the manager works for the team and the league can not tell them who to hire or fire.

Mundane said...

Miles Wolff the commissioner of both AA and the Can AM league owns one of the teams in the Can AM League (Quebec Citadeles). He may have a partial interest in some of the other teams.

Having said that the League by firing the ump got more national attention than it has had in at least 2 years.

David said...

The umpires manual is CLEAR. Umpires must not make physical contact with managers or players. They must be above that. If they cannot follow that simple rule, they cannot be professional umpires.

Anonymous said...

I figured that it was a money issue. Shame on them for the non support of the umpire. David are you an umpire? If you are you should follow the cardinal rule of sports officiating never criticize a fellow official since one day you may find yourself in a similar situation.

Anonymous said...

Miles wolff you are as low as they come for not having the backbone to lend support to the umpire. Every umpire that works for you knows not to trust you. I wouldn't work for you because I expect some support when a coach assaults you. Pad your pockets and I hope you sleep well. As for the umpire who wants to work in a ratty league anyway.

Anonymous said...

I know the umpire and have heard his side of the story! After reading all the comments, I'll fill you in on a few things that he has told me! Yes, it is Mike Riggers that worked the strike in 1995. He has over 35 years of umpiring experience. He also has a business that I am very familiar with and I would say he has a better than 6 figure income. His business is such that he does not work in the summer time. Oh! he is 62 years old. Concerning the incident, does anyone know that he was SPRAYED with spit when he got bumped. Not just a little but alot, as he told me it was on purpose by the manager! He stated that is why he came back at the manager. That was his 5th ejection of the year! Two were pitchers, one manager, and one hitter, and then this manager. He was also told by his former partner, who had to leave for a teaching job in early August, "to be ready to do the playoffs." He said that was not confirmed by the league. However, the supervisor had asked him a few weeks ago, if he was going to be back next year. Mike told me he was very happy working the league, he even liked the every day grind. He stated his main goal was to finish the 100 game schedule. He said that was game number 88. I think his pay was around $2600 per month to $2900 per month, and I think $25.00 a day per diem, and $.35 per mile. This info is 2nd hand, but I think pretty much correct as he told me.

Anonymous said...

He also worked in the PAC 10, WAC, Mountain West, for numerous years, the 1988 Olympics, Golden Baseball League and filled in on some Minor League games. I know the guy also, and have heard the story as posted above.

Anonymous said...

Jon Terry, was it Mr. Teague who you were refferring to? I didn't think someone would get fired from that game but I do almost every coach in one dugout got fired.

Post a Comment