Former major league pitcher turned broadcaster Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams is taking a leave of absence from his gig on the MLB Network after a meltdown in front of little kids during a youth league baseball tournament recently.
A series of incidents, one in which Williams allegedly ordered his team's pitcher to hit an opposing player with a pitch, took place at a Cal Ripken League tournament in Maryland a week ago, according to the Yahoo! Sports website Big League Chew
"Mitch Williams has decided to take a leave of absence from his role at MLB Network at this time," a spokesman for the MLB Network told the New York Daily News
. "We are continuing to look into the matter."
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It was earlier reported that Williams was kicked out of one game for arguing with an umpire
Deadspin's Timothy Burke wrote
about an incident the weekend of May 10 between Williams' elite 10-and-under baseball team the Jersey Wild and the SJ Titans in which witnesses told the website that Williams called the Titans pitcher "a p***y."
"Children on the team heard this, and one asked his parent on the ride home what it meant," Burke said for Deadspin. "The comment sparked a meeting behind home plate between SJ Titans coaches, umpires, Williams, and a handler (one witness called him a 'babysitter') assigned by Ripken Baseball to keep Williams in line after Saturday's ejection."
SJ Titans coaches charged that Williams ordered his pitcher to hit the SJ pitcher when he came to bat during the championship game.
"One SJ Titans assistant coach confronted Williams about the pitch after the game, and reported that Williams stated, 'I told him to throw it inside,'" Deadspin reported. "Other witnesses – a number of parents, coaches, and other observers contacted us about Mitch Williams's behavior – state that Williams was heckling SJ Titans coaches throughout the game, repeatedly calling one a 'squirrelly little teapot,' and making harassing comments about the appearance of 10-year-old baseball players on the opposing team."
Williams played mostly with the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies in 11 Major League seasons, ending in 1997. Williams is best known for the home run he allowed to Joe Carter that lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a six-game World Series title in 1993.
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