Major League Baseball umpires are getting used to the recently added responsibility of announcing replay decisions. But after the latest hot mic incident, it’s clear they still have some work to do.
Earlier this season, umpire Tom Hallion gave us an “ah, son of a bitch” as he wrestled with his mic and earpiece. And Wednesday night, umpire Bill Miller appeared to drop an f-bomb that was heard over the Nationals Park PA system, as well as the TV broadcast on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
After the replay decision was announced, some mumbling could be heard on the broadcast, presumably coming from another umpire who was asking about the direction Miller faced when he addressed the crowd. And then it happened.
Umpire Bill Miller drops an F-bomb on hot mic to the entire stadium. Also a blown replay call pic.twitter.com/YQqxx0a0Gb
— batflipcenter (@batflipcenter) July 7, 2022
“F*ckin just like, they told us just stare up into the press box,” Miller appeared to say.
Miller must have been explaining where umpires are supposed to look for television purposes when they announce the call. Unfortunately, he made two mistakes when speaking to his fellow umpire: he forgot to turn his mic off and he used some not safe for work language.
“Oops, better turn your mic off, Bill,” play-by-play voice Bob Carpenter said, recognizing that Miller’s f-bomb was broadcast over the air.
Being an umpire seems like a tough enough job. Now they have to learn to use a microphone switch on top of getting calls right? Maybe worse than the hot mic incident was the fact that the replay call was blown and the Washington Nationals shouldn’t have lost their challenge. But that’s not Miller’s fault, that’s on the replay officials in New York.
Before the start of the 2022 MLB season, it was decided that umpires would announce replay decisions to the in-stadium crowd and on the broadcast, just as NFL referees have been doing for decades. But NFL refs were able to iron out most kinks long before the era of social media, where hot mic blunders spread like wildfire.