More details of Mitch Williams' behavior at the Cal RIpken Baseball League tournament last weekend have been revealed in a follow up story posted by Deadspin on Friday.
The initial reports, which were later confirmed, stated that the former major league reliever and current MLB Network analyst was ejected from a game on Saturday for confronting an umpire and going on a profanity laced tirade that was clearly audible all around the park. Williams has since disputed many of the details of that specific incident, but it looks like he'll have to go back on the defensive now in light of the new reports stemming from Sunday's tournament championship game featuring the Williams-coached Jersey Wild and the SJ Titans.
According to witnesses, Williams' behavior was possibily even more disturbing 24 hours later. At one point, witnesses say Williams could be heard calling a child on the opposing team "a pu**y." He also allegedly ordered one of his own 10-year-old players to hit the opposing pitcher with a pitch, which obviously angered coaches and parents of the SJ Titans squad.
SJ Titans coaches and players overheard this interaction, and report that Williams ordered his pitcher to intentionally hit the SJ Titans batter with the first pitch. One witness told us it was in an attempt to knock the SJ Titans pitcher out of the game.
Absolutely pathetic if true, and at this point the evidence seems to be overwhelmingly against Williams.
While video of the Saturday ejection remains unavailable, Deadspin has posted two videos from Sunday, one of which clearly shows Williams conferencing with his catcher prior to the inning. The catcher then conferences with the pitcher, and when the first batter steps in he's immediately hit by the first pitch. The umpire, who was reportedly informed by SJ coaches that they suspected a beaning was coming, then warned both teams.
Yes, both benches were warned in a youth baseball game, which is sad enough. But there's even more to the story.
Other witnesses—a number of parents, coaches, and other observers contacted us about Mitch Williams's behavior—state that Williams was heckling SJ Titans coaches throughout the game, repeatedly calling one a "squirrelly little teapot," and making harassing comments about the appearance of 10-year-old baseball players on the opposing team. (Lest you think these reports come from a team of sore losers, know that SJ Titans defeated Jersey Wild in the championship game.)
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Deadspin quotes numerous other sources on Williams' behavior not only at the Cal Ripken tournament, but past sporting events as well, and none of it is favorable.
It sounds like it might be time for Williams to look in the mirror and re-evaluate his approach to coaching at this level. His alleged behavior is unacceptable even at the highest level, but it definitely goes against everything that youth sports are supposed to stand for. If he's not willing to take that step, then someone has to do it for him and simply have him removed from a position he's clearly not cut out to handle.
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