Dick Butler tried, in vain, to interrupt. "Thanks, Ron...."
"So you meant it, huh? I knew it."
"No," I told Weaver, "I didn't mean what I said about Baltimore."
"But you meant it about me!"
By this time we were shouting at each other. "Well, you're the only guy I have trouble with all the time, and you have trouble with every umpire in the league, so don't you think you're the problem?"
"I yell at you because you're biased."
"Oh, yeah? Well, you're more biased than anyone!"
My attempt to apologize turned out to be a disaster. The American League had no choice but to take me off Baltimore games. I objected, but there really wasn't anything I could do about it.
I didn't work an Oriole game for an entire year. I didn't miss Weaver, but I did miss his team. The Orioles were always such a pleasure to watch—and they played quick games. To my surprise, when I received my monthly schedule for August 1979, I had been assigned to a Baltimore-White Sox series in Chicago. Haller was taking his vacation during this period, and I assumed the league had gotten confused and thought I was going to be on vacation. I didn't say a word. I was looking forward to seeing my pal Earl again.
We arrived in Chicago on a Friday morning. There had been a rock concert in Comiskey Park the previous weekend and the field had been badly torn up. New sod had been put down, but it had rained hard during the week. When I walked across the field I sank in over my shoes. I decided that if I couldn't walk on water, certainly nobody playing major league baseball could. I declared the field unplayable and called the game.