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The Ump And The Manager
Ron Luciano
March 01, 1982
When an irresistible force (Umpire Ron Luciano) met a reprovable—and removable—object (Oriole Manager Earl Weaver), the outcome was very often ejection
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March 01, 1982

The Ump And The Manager

When an irresistible force (Umpire Ron Luciano) met a reprovable—and removable—object (Oriole Manager Earl Weaver), the outcome was very often ejection

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I had it announced, and play resumed.

Assistant Supervisor of Umpires Johnny Stevens was waiting for me in the umpires' dressing room at the conclusion of the first game. Fuming. He had been in contact with Lee MacPhail, he told me.

"How is Lee?" I asked.

I was told that I wasn't to discuss the incident with any reporters. And I wasn't to talk to Weaver during the second game of the doubleheader under any circumstances. I wasn't to smile at him. I wasn't to tell him that I couldn't hear him to draw him out of the dugout, and then when he came out give him the boot. I wasn't to allow him to back me into a corner. If the ball park caught on fire, I wasn't even to warn him. I began to realize this was getting serious.

At the beginning of the second game we met at home plate during the exchange of lineups. He looked at me and asked, "What's going on?"

I opened my mouth to tell him that it had taken me an entire year, but I'd finally gotten him for his performance at the press conference. But before I could utter a single syllable, Umpire Russell Goetz stepped between us. "Ron says everything is fine, Earl. Now, listen, both of you, it's a new game and we're not going to talk about the first game. It's over. That's it."

I worked third base that game and only had two calls. One was a line drive hit by an Oriole that landed just foul, and I called it foul at least 15 times. The other was a sliding tag play in which a White Sox player was out. That might have been the toughest out I ever called in baseball.

Weaver was later suspended for three games.

Although I didn't realize it at the time, that was the last time Weaver and I would meet between the foul lines. The following year I was up in the broadcast booth.

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