|File: Professional Baseball (MiLB) Umpire Mario Seneca|
As Cubs manager Brian Harper visited Hernandez to argue the lack of possession call, Daytona Cubs deejay intern Derek Dye cued up a baseball organ version of "Three Blind Mice" to play over the Jackie Robinson Ballpark P.A. system. While Hernandez was engaged with Harper, his partner, umpire-in-chief Mario Seneca recognized the childhood tune and knew exactly what he had to do. (Video: Inappropriate Song Plays, Dye Tossed)
If only Dye—an intern from the University of Illinois—was a bit more experienced or versed in stadium entertainment audio operations, he would have known that "Three Blind Mice" was a baseball no-no, a discipline-worthy offense backed by nearly three decades of precedent and past practice.
Cue Seneca, who turned to the press box and authoratively stated, "You're done!" in the direction of Dye. Seneca had further instructions for the entertainment crew: "Turn the sound off for the rest of the night."
Seneca has the professional expertise and perspective to rule on this peculiar situation. A graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law, Seneca, like MLB umpire Dan Bellino, holds a juris doctor—"the lawyer degree"—and is the Second Vice President of the Association of Minor League Umpires.
For any student of law, the concept of "precedent" is absolutely vital to deciphering the present and in this case, Seneca's actions are backed by the past actions of many fellow umpires, all of which have been supported by the League Office or President in charge.
» In 1985, also in the Florida State League, umpire Keith O'Connor ejected Clearwater Phillies organist Wilbur Snapp after Snapp played "Three Blind Mice" in protest of a controversial call.
» In 1988, umpire & crew chief Tony Maners ejected Omaha Royals organist Lambert Bartak for playing "derogatory music" after a close call went against Omaha. Bartak had keyed the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme song during a fifth inning intermission. Intriguingly enough, Maners had not even been involved in the debated call; instead, Royals catcher Larry Owen and manager Glenn Ezell both argued with the umpire who had made the call, HP Umpire Angel Hernandez.
» » Maners claimed he had previously ejected another organist in the International League for similar actions.
» On August 7, 2001, MLB plate umpire Angel Hernandez (the same one) ejected Cubs 7th inning stretch guest singer & former Bears player Steve McMichael after McMichael impairedly (and with a beer in his hand) stated over the Wrigley Field P.A. system, "I'll have some speak with that home plate umpire after the game... boo!" after a close call the previous half inning.
Video: Seneca ejects Dye for playing offensive song
News: Umpire tosses music intern in Daytona