There’s no way the umpire is signaling you, right?
It has to be in the direction of the manager or towards a player who is in the stands. But no, umpire Mario Seneca was looking directly at it: Derek Dye, the intern for the Daytona Cubs, had been ejected from the game.
“I was paralyzed. I had to go, ”Dye recalled recently. I’ve never felt like this in my life. “
Derek Dye had his dream job in the summer of 2012. The Daytona Cubs intern, Class-A, was doing whatever the club asked him to do.
“I took care of the food, drink, ticket sales, promotions, clothing, customer service,” Dye noted. “I even dressed up as a pet a couple of times.”
But one of the coolest jobs he ever had was being in the sound department right above the turntable and near the broadcast booth.
From there, he had the perfect visual to watch the game and score it. It was much better than “worrying if you had enough Diet Cokes to sell.”
The variety of sounds you had to choose from are the ones you are used to hearing in a minor league game. The noise of a glass breaking for when the ball leaves the park, music between entrances to cheer the public and during the warm-up. But before a game against Fort Myers Miracle on August 1, a new button was added: The “bad decision.”
“Is comic; We had barely put it on that week, ”Dye told me. “They wanted us to feel more like Wrigley Field. There were normals and others more fun ”.
Coming to the game, Dye knew he would be in charge of the sound buttons, but he wasn’t sure if he could use the new one. The Cubs (who featured a 19-year-old prospect named Javier Báez) and the Miracle (who was with 36-year veteran Carl Pavano) were battling for the basement of the Florida State League. But that night, the game was exciting and close until the last innings. In the top of the eighth inning, there was a controversial initial decision, in which the Miracle’s running back was declared safe. The crowd was upset and Cubs manager Brian Harper came out onto the field to argue.
Suddenly, Dye remembered that she had the right sound for the moment. Excited, he pressed the button for “bad decision” and then the button for “the three blind mice.” Suddenly, this is what happened:
Plate umpire Mario Seneca – disturbed by the sound decisions – ejected Dye.
Dye gathered her things and left. The rest of the sound stopped. The employees had to shout from the cave who was the player who was at bat. The Cubs ended up winning 3-1, but Dye was concerned about his future with the team.
“I was scared,” Dye recalled. “He was like, ‘Oh my God, I shouldn’t have done that.’
After the match, Dye, an unpaid intern that summer, drank a 32-ounce beer, put on glasses and began cleaning the stadium – a routine for him.
Then he started getting text messages and some calls. Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com contacted him for an interview. The local radios the same. The video circulated everywhere.
The next morning, the story took off. Dye answered calls from her closet, so as not to wake up her roommates. Even “Good Morning America” wanted to talk to him.
“I had to go to work that day, but I counted them, there were 50 interviews,” recalls Dye. ESPN, SportsCenter, ABC World News, Good Morning America. It was crazy. All day. It was really funny. “
Fans lined up to ask for an autograph. Some even dressed up as mice. The stands went from 1,000 to 3,000 fans the next day.
Theo Epstein, a year after joining the organization as general manager, stopped by the park the following weekend to meet Dye and tell her that the whole episode had been fun.
One person was upset by the expulsion. The league commissioner sent Dye a tough letter, saying he had “mocked the game” and fined the team $ 525. Because the incident brought a lot of attention and promotion to the team, the general manager paid it off without a hitch.
Now in his 30s, Dye is a brand manager in Chicago. Sometimes he shows the video to some people and sometimes he receives it on social media. In her native Moline, Illinois, she is a celebrity.
“If I go to my city, I won’t lie to you, they buy me beers and tell me it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever seen.”
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The time an umpire kicked out an intern?