Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Source: Brian Runge Terminated by MLB for Drug Violation

According to the AP, MLB fired umpire Brian Runge for a drug violation, marking the first known termination of a Major League umpire for violating Major League Baseball's Umpire Drug and Alcohol Testing Program.

Pro-baseball's drug suspensions in MLB/MiLB, 2006-12.
Runge's termination marks the first known firing of an umpire
directly attributed to an abuse of the drug policy.
/ Graph: MLBDD, Sources: USA Today, Baseball America
Pursuant to the Commissioner's Drug Prevention Policy, all Major League Umpires are subject to unannounced testing pursuant to the Umpires Drug Testing and Treatment Program. According to its terms, any umpire who refuses to test, fails to appear for a test or deliberately attempts to evade or alter a test result is subject to discipline. Like the players, umpires may receive a 50-day suspension without pay for the first violation of this policy with greater sanctions for subsequent violations.

According to the anonymous sources, Runge previously failed one drug test and was sanctioned; the source alleges Runge failed to abide by the terms of his post-failure employment agreement and accordingly was released from the Major League umpiring staff. His first MLB game was in 1999.

First reported as a rumor by the UEFL on June 9 and confirmed on June 14, Chris Conroy was promoted to the full-time roster where he replaced Runge after a failed return at Triple-A New Orleans in May.

News: AP Sources: MLB Umpire Let Go After Drug Violation (Associated Press/"The Big Story")

8 comments :

Gil Imber said...

This is a very sad end for a what had been a great baseball family story...this has been the first season I can recall without a Runge on the field, Ed, then Paul, then Brian.

Gil Imber said...

That is a sad story. Hopefully Brian gets whatever help he may need and gets everything in life on track.

Gil Imber said...

+1. Hopefully we will see Runge on a major league field again one day

Gil Imber said...

When you think about, it's kind of amazing how easily something like this can happen to an umpire. It's a taxing lifestyle and the injuries take their toll. Considering the number of umpires out with injuries at any given time compared with the number of guys on the job, MLB umpire is probably one of the most dangerous jobs statistically speaking in America. With all of the pain medications out there, and the addictions to them that we all hear about, it would make sense that a drug problem with someone on the job would be inevitable, irregardless of the nature of Runge's particular issue.

Gil Imber said...

Sad story indeed. He always stood out to me when I began focusing on the umpires because he was one of the last to use the knee stance and had a very unique way of calling strikes (particularly strike three).

Gil Imber said...

I think this is very sad. Becoming a MLB umpire is a privilege. He obviously has to work out some personal issues. Hiring Chris Conroy under these circumstances is unfortunate, but definitely upgrades the staff. I guess it raises the question of whether Brian would have ever been hired if not for his Father.

Gil Imber said...

I wonder if this is a pill popping issue or if he's smoking a little weed. Either way, he should be helped rather than ostracized, but I know baseball and drugs get along about as well as Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders. Anyway, I hope they help him get the assistance he needs....

Gil Imber said...

Agree with both of you....Maybe they can demote Angel Hernandez (whom I think is generally on some sort of hallucinatory drug).

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