During a spring training game on Monday between the Angels and Brewers, an umpire called the game from behind the mound. The unusual situation occurred after the home plate umpire left with an injury.
Tim McClelland was forced to call the game from behind the mound after home plate umpire Seth Buckminster was hit by a ball, breaking his left hand. Another umpire, Anthony Johnson, had to leave with Buckminster to change into the home plate gear.
The Angels and Brewers didn’t wait to continue the match. Because there were only two umpires on the field, McClelland was forced to call the game from behind the mound until Johnson returned.
Brewer’s starting pitcher Wily Peralta was facing Josh Hamilton at the time of the injury. He recalls hearing a ball called from behind him, “When he called ‘ball’ behind me, I just looked behind me,” in what had to be a strange moment.
McClelland made the decision to umpire from behind the mound so the crowd wouldn’t have to wait. He says, “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.”
Josh Hamilton grounded out quickly to the end the inning. Three batters into the bottom of the first inning and Johnson returned in home plate gear. The game resumed normally after that.
The Angels beat the Brewers 6-1 in one of the stranger games of spring training this year. Here is a video of the incident:
Besides an umpire calling the game from behind the mound, the game was also Albert Pujols first playing defense. He has been the Angels’ designated hitter while recovering from an injury. He says he is not ready to be a full time designated hitter though.
Do you think this would happen in a real game? Do you think this should this have been allowed in a spring training game?