Sportsman's Daily


Umpire Who Went Off Half-Cocked, Hopes to Work His Way Back Up to Full-Cocked

Brian Runge Apologizes for Outburst; Wants to Make Next Flare-up More Memorable

Brian Runge

Runge Up on Charges? Maybe next time if the umpire moves forward with plans to give fans a fight to remember.

FLUSHING QUEENS, NY (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) -- Major League umpire Brian Runge, who was suspended for one game and subsequently apologized for bumping Mets manager Jerry Manuel during an argument last Tuesday, now says his outburst was sub-standard.

“I’m a Major League umpire for Christ’s sake,” said Runge. “My dad (Paul Runge) was a Major League ump. There’s a tradition in my family. I didn’t live up to that tradition. My actions were lame. If it had been my dad, Jerry Manuel would have gotten tossed into the stands and beaten mercilessly with a flurry of fists. I still apologize to Jerry for what I did. I now want to also apologize to the fans for not giving them their money’s worth.”

Runge has shown spectacular displays of rage in the past which devotees of sports temper tantrums have described as maniacal, fierce, and exquisitely crafted.

Mike Vogel, sports-psychologist and the author of the best selling book The Castrating Zebra: Anger Management among NBA Referees, explained that umpires and officials in other sports share a common bond – to be respected. “I really think most umpires are athletes who weren’t good enough to play,” said Vogel. “So they wanted to stay close to the game by umpiring. They’re so intent on getting every call right, when their authority is challenged by another man who was good enough to play the game, they get their panties in a bunch and have the unyielding desire to freak out like a ten year old girl who can’t get Hannah Montana tickets. Runge’s no different.”

There’s a tradition in baseball of umpires and players getting into physical altercations. Perhaps the umpire with the greatest reputation of taking on players was George Moriarty who officiated in the American League from 1917 to 1940. If players disagreed with his calls, he’d invited them to duke it out under the stands after the game.

“Moriarty was the shit,” said the Runge. “There’s nothing quite like a relentless and vicious beating to get the blood flowing. I’m particularly fond of when they beg you to stop and you just keep wailing away till their brains come out of their ears. It’s a really nice touch. Plus it sends a message to the next poor bastard who thinks your strike zone is too wide.”

Runge vows to get his edge back by repeatedly watching the final fight scene between Mel Gibson and Derrick O’Connor in Lethal Weapon 2 while gnawing on raw steak.

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