Earlier this week, a video featuring former Mets manager Terry Collins getting into a profane shouting match with an umpire went viral, and for good reason. It captures, in all its vulgar detail, what types of words are actually exchanged during those heated moments when angry MLB managers leave the dugout to argue about calls that didn’t go their way.
This particular moment, from a May 2016 game between the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field, is centered around former Phillies great Chase Utley. During the 2015 playoffs, while playing for the Dodgers, Utley broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during a slide into second base. Though many pundits and observers, including my colleague John Smallwood, considered the slide too aggressive and borderline dirty, Utley ultimately faced no punishment after MLB executive and former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre overturned the meek two-game suspension Utley was initially given.
So the following season, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard fired a 99-mph fastball behind the second baseman’s back. Plate umpire Adam Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, leading to Collins’ angry reaction.
Here’s how the situation played out in the broadcast booth, which is how most fans witness these types of situations. And here’s how it sounded on the field, in all its vulgar glory, captured by a microphone umpire crew chief Tom Hallion was wearing (warning: explicit language):
Full Version: Mets UNCENSORED (Thor’s Ejection vs Dodgers in 2016 Terry Goes Ballistic) #Mets #LGM @Noahsyndergaard #metsuncensored #terrycollins #chaseutley #mets2016 #mlbejections pic.twitter.com/Zr9h6KTPfG
— MetsZone (@Mets_Zone) June 14, 2018
To a lot of fans, the viral video offers an interesting insight into what gets said during those heated exchanges. But MLB commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t see it that way, and said Thursday the league was on a quixotic mission to remove the video from the internet.
“We made a commitment to the umpires that if they would wear microphones, certain types of interactions that we all know go on the field would not be aired publicly,” Manfred said after Thursday’s owners meetings, according to the Associated Press.
“We promised them that. It’s in the collective bargaining agreement. We had no choice in a situation like that than to do everything possible to live up to our agreement. It is Labor Relations 101,” Manfred said. “To not do that is the kind of breach of trust that puts you in a bad spot over the long haul.”
Manfred also told the New York Post he was “disappointed” that the audio was leaked, and that it was important for the league to figure out how it ended up on social media.
“Getting angry about that, there’s not really much of a point in that,” Manfred said. “I think it’s more important that we make clear to our employees that we’re doing everything possible to live up to our agreement, and that we figure out how it happened so it doesn’t happen again.”
SNY’s Andy Martino caught up with Collins on Thursday and let him know the profanity-laced moment had become the latest internet sensation, something that caught the former manager completely off guard.
“Oh no,” Collins responded.