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Umpire Brian O’Nora leaves game after reportedly swallowing his chew

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Brian O'Nora in a much happier moment. (AP)

The Phillies-Mets game was delayed nine minutes for a very strange reason on Friday night.

Obviously strange would eliminate occurrences related to weather, so this wasn’t a rain or lightning delay. The Mets remembered to pay the electricity bill so power wasn’t an issue. The umpires even managed to beat traffic, which wasn‘t the case earlier this season in Washington.

Unfortunately for home plate umpire Brian O’Nora though, he wouldn’t be around long as he suddenly became very ill during the bottom half of the first inning and had to leave the game.

O’Nora left immediately after Daniel Murphy grounded out for the second out of the bottom half. He exited through the Mets dugout and apparently had an issue in their tunnel that manager Terry Collins had a good view of.

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''Brian O'Nora got very ill. Just came on really, really fast and came into the dugout because he was going to be sick to his stomach,'' Collins was quoted as saying after the game. He could also be seen shaking his head and mouthing the words “that wasn’t good” when shown on TV right after O'Nora made it down the tunnel steps.

So what the heck hit O’Nora? The flu? Nerves? Lousy catering?

According to Kevin Cooney and those in the Citi Field press box, none of the above. It was actually much, much worse.

I can’t even imagine that feeling. Well, actually, I can’t even imagine getting into that habit to begin with, but that had to make for a very rough night for the veteran umpire. In fact, according to the Associated Press, O'Nora was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

The AP report also says O'Nora was feeling ill prior the game, so it's possible he was indeed suffering from flu like symptoms as the official announcement from MLB suggests. But the prevailing belief among those in attendance is that O'Nora took a gulp of his chew and couldn't get off the field fast enough.

Personally, I'm just thankful he did get off the field period before whatever happened in that tunnel could happen on camera.

I think it might be time for a new habit, Brian. For the sake of all of us.

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