Former MLB pitcher and current baseball analyst Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams went on leave from MLB Network on May 17 after he reportedly ordered the beaning of a youth baseball player last weekend.
Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams has gone on leave from MLB Network.
Williams' leave of absence comes after he reportedly ordered the beaning of an opposing youth baseball player in Maryland several days ago, per Deadspin's Timothy Burke:
"The fallout continues from MLB network analyst Mitch Williams' meltdown at a Ripken youth tournament this past weekend, as parents and coaches tell Deadspin that 'The Wild Thing' called one child 'a p---y' while ordering one of his 10-year-old players to hit the opposing pitcher with a beanball.
"While video of the Saturday ejection is still suspiciously unavailable, we were able to acquire footage from Sunday's championship game between the Williams-coached Jersey Wild and and SJ Titans, another elite 10U baseball team from New Jersey.
"The film at the top of this post shows an interaction between Williams and some SJ Titans players. Multiple witnesses report that interaction consisted of Williams calling the SJ Titans pitcher 'a p---y.'
"Children on the team heard this, and one asked his parent on the ride home what it meant. The comment sparked a meeting behind home plate between SJ Titans coaches, umpires, Williams, and a handler (one witness called him a 'babysitter') assigned by Ripken Baseball to keep Williams in line after Saturday's ejection.
"Sure enough, the first pitch hits the SJ Titans player square in the ribs (The home plate umpire, who had been made aware of the upcoming beanball, warned both benches).
"One SJ Titans assistant coach confronted Williams about the pitch after the game, and reported that Williams stated, 'I told him to throw it inside.'"
MLB Network then sent an e-mail to The New York Daily News' Andy Clayton on May 17 to say that Williams has taken a leave of absence.
"The MLB Network told the Daily News on Saturday afternoon that Williams is taking a leave of absence from the network.
"'Mitch Williams has decided to take a leave of absence from his role at MLB Network at this time,' an MLB Network spokesperson said in an email to the Daily News. 'We are continuing to look into the matter.'"
For his part, Williams explained his side and apologized in a series of tweets he posted several days ago.
"It started in the 1st inn, the ump yelled at the opposing coach, then yelled at me. I asked why r u yelling at me I haven't even met u yet.
"I regret what happened at this weekend's tournament & apologize. I love baseball & coaching.
"I did not curse at the umpire @ will walk away in the future. Again, I apologize."
The 49-year-old Williams took the mound for the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, the then-California Angels and Kansas City Royals for 10 seasons from 1986-1995 and 1997.
He finished his MLB career with 660 strikeouts and a 3.65 ERA in 691.1 innings pitched, per Baseball-Reference.com.
Williams joined MLB Network in 2009 -- its inaugural year -- according to its official website.
"Mitch Williams, an 11-year Major League veteran, is an analyst appearing across MLB Network's programming. Williams was part of MLB Network's launch in 2009.
"In addition to contributing to MLB Network, Williams has called games for FOX's baseball coverage and has contributed to FOX's pregame and post-game coverage during the MLB regular season and postseason.
"Williams has also hosted a weekly radio show, 'Remember When,' on Sirius/XM, and a one-hour pregame radio show, 'The Wild Pitch,' on Philadelphia's 1210-WPHT.
"Before joining MLB Network, Williams was a postgame analyst on Comcast Sportsnet's 'Phillies Post-Game Live,' a contributing analyst for TBS' baseball coverage and a contributor to 610-WIP's Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team in Philadelphia."
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