Just when you think you've seen everything there is to see at a baseball game, the game surprises you. That's what I was saying to another fan after the game as we were finishing our beers.
"Do you believe that?" he said.
"No", I replied. "I was an umpire a few years back, I NEVER once threw anyone out of a game. I sure wouldn't toss someone over something silly like that."
It wasn't a manager who was ejected. It wasn't a player. It wasn't a coach, or even a fan. The Daytona Cubs had their intern ejected at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
What was the heinous offense that got Cubs' intern Derek Dye ejected? He played Three Blind Mice over the P.A system. No, I'm not making this up. The ump took off his mask and looked up at the press box and gave the kid the old heave-ho.
I was sitting in the bleachers behind third base with some friends and we were doing what minor league baseball fans do; drinking beer, half watching the game, half catching up on what's been going on since we last saw each other; that type of thing. The play was so benign, just a scoop over at first base that was bobbled a bit, that I thought nothing of it.
We go back to our conversation, and I don't even notice the song. Then I see the ump turn and yell at the press box, but we were too far away to hear him. Still, nothing alarming. I thought maybe there was a line-up change. But the fans within ear shot started to boo and heckle the ump. One yelled out, "a little sensitive are we? Do you need your mommy to come beat up that mean man in the Press Box?"
I overheard a guy talking to his buddy on the phone. He said "the PA announcer got tossed for playing Three Blind Mice over the mic".
I told my buddy this, and he was shocked. So he decided to sing "Three Blind Mice" in the most obnoxiously loud way possible. Then some of the Cubs fans decide to do the regular music bits the Cubs normally do, such as the Addams Family theme song thing where everybody claps to the finger snapping parts.
A couple of people, including myself, decided to do the "Now batting...number 10..." the rest of the game. The problem is that I don't know most of the names of the players so I had to improvise. In the ninth inning, with Ft. Myers runners on every base in a 2-1 game with one out, I said, "Now pitching for the Cubs...Number 37...We don't know his name but he is going to get a double play grounder right here!"
The crowd laughed. I'm hoping the ump felt embarrassed. It was an overreaction, plain and simple, but still one of the most unique moments I have ever seen at a baseball game. You can see the video of this unique ejection here.
Photo attributed to Recury.