Every baseball fan knows umpires can be a painfully constant source of frustration, and while it’s hard to blame players, managers, and spectators for being very vocal while voicing their displeasure over a blown call, that backlash can understandably take a toll on the people who are subjected to it on a regular basis.
An ump’s primary job is obviously making sure they make the right calls as often as possible. However, they also have plenty of other responsibilities, including the role they play in keeping order on the diamond when tempers reach a boiling point.
One of the most valuable tools in an umpire’s arsenal is their ability to eject anyone they feel has crossed the line.
While that particular disciplinary measure is usually used to give players and managers who lose their mind while arguing calls the chance to cool off in the clubhouse, it can technically be deployed to send anyone in the stadium home packing.
For example, Angel Hernandez once gave former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Steve McMichael the boot after he commandeered the microphone to criticize the ump after singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley Field, and Bruce Froemming ejected every person in the press box at a minor league game for heckling him.
However, I’d argue it’s very, very hard to top a similarly strange scene that unfolded during another minor league contest where a DJ cross the line by trolling the man behind the plate.
A DJ was once ejected from a minor league baseball game for playing “Three Blind Mice”
While people have historically associated organs with churches, they’ve also become a staple of baseball games thanks in no small part to the Chicago Cubs, who unofficially sparked the trend that would eventually take the sport by storm all the way back in 1941.
Nowadays, organists can be heard doing their thing at baseball stadiums around the United States, and there are plenty of other venues that incorporate those musical stylings into a typical game with prerecorded sounds that blare over the speakers.
That was the case at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida on August 1, 2012, an evening that saw the Daytona Cubs (now the Tortugas) host the Fort Myers Miracle (now the Mighty Mussels) in a Class-A minor league showdown.
Things seemed to be going smoothly until the top of the eighth inning thanks to a close call where a member of the Miracle was ruled safe by first base umpire Ramon Hernandez even though it appeared the throw had beaten the runner to the bag.
Cubs manager Brian Harper wasted no time running out of the dugout to contest the call with Hernandez, and while no footage of that argument exists, we do have a clip of what unfolded after Derek Dye—a 21-year-old unpaid college intern tasked with playing music during the game—opted to throw an organ rendition of “Three Blind Mice” on the P.A. system.
It was an undoubtedly cheeky move, but one that also seemed pretty innocent. However, home plate umpire Mario Seneca apparently didn’t feel that way, as he turned around and gestured to the box where Dye was sitting before yelling “You’re gone!”
Dye told ESPN he wasn’t even aware Seneca had the authority to throw him out of the game, but he accepted his punishment after realizing he had, in fact, been ejected for playing “Three Blind Mice.”
The Florida State League ultimately decided to fine Dye for playing the song (although the Cubs agreed to pay it for him), and the team officially took “Three Blind Mice” out of the music rotation to prevent the same situation from unfolding in the future.