No folks, this isn’t little league baseball. This is the real deal, and that’s an umpire calling pitches from behind the mound.
Looks just a bit strange, doesn’t it?
In a bizarre first inning during the Angels vs Brewers spring training exhibition, the home plate umpire, Seth Buckminster, broke his hand when he caught a deflected pitch.
Knowing that it was a spring exhibition and a delay in the game would kill any fan spirit in the ball park, the umpires decided to throw it back little league-style to keep the game moving. While replacement umpire Anthony Johnson changed into gear in the locker room, Tim McClelland stepped to the back of the pitcher’s mound and called the game from there for the next few batters.
“Just keep it moving,” McClelland said. “We didn’t want people to sit. Both managers agreed to it, and I knew it wasn’t going to be long. This way we didn’t have to sit and could keep the game going.”
Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta was on the mound at the time:
“I don’t remember the last time I was pitching like that — probably Little League when I was, like, 13 years old,” said the Dominican-born Peralta. “It just forgot about it and [focused on] the hitters. It felt a little weird when he called, ‘Ball!’ behind me. It was like, ‘Oh, God!'”
Luckily for the fans, the umps acted on the fly, because there could be nothing worse (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but you get it) than a spring exhibition game delay.