Former big league pitcher Mitch Williams had a brief moment of fame as the closer for the 1993 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. They lost the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays but everyone loved the raffish, roguish, and offbeat Phillies. I had a soft spot for the team because its manager, the late Jim Fregosi, was from my home town. Williams nickname, even then, was Wild Thing because he had a hard time throwing strikes. By 1997, Williams was washed up because he couldn’t find home plate with a geiger counter. I’m not sure what that means but it scans well…
The Wild Thing is back in the news. This time because he lost,uh, control while coaching his kids’ youth team:
MLB Network analyst and former Philadelphia Phillies closer Mitch Williams was ejected from his son’s baseball game Saturday after he got into a shouting match with an umpire, according to a report from Deadspin.
Williams was coaching his son’s 10U Jersey Wild team at a Ripken Baseball tournament in Aberdeen, Md.
According to the report, Williams complained about several calls throughout the game. The umpire finally confronted Williams after he mentioned something to a parent in the stands about getting the umpire fired, the report said.
A parent told Deadspin the fight was “just like the major leagues” and that other coaches of the team had to pull Williams away from the umpire.
But he refused to leave the game, the report said, leading to a 10-minute game delay.
This isn’t the first time “Wild Thing” has had a problem with an official in a youth game. Williams was ejected from his daughter’s basketball game for cursing at the referee, the report said.
I hereby sentence Williams to 6 hours in a room with the Phillie Phanatic and a Philly serenade: BOOOO.
Even though this Wild Thing never made my heart sing, I’ll still give Jimi Hendrix the last word: