Any excuse to post this YouTube video of a September 1980 Earl Weaver argument with umpire Bill Haller is a good one, but in this case it’s a really good excuse. Sports Illustrated interviewed Weaver for its annual “Where Are They Now?” edition.
In the lengthy SI piece Weaver describes the outburst, immortalized by YouTube, as “embarrassing.” The excerpt about the Haller argument follows.
Earl Weaver was thrown out of more American League games than any other manager in history. He was thrown out in spring training. He was thrown out in the World Series. He was thrown out twice in one day. Twice. (Both ends of a doubleheader.) He was thrown out by an amateur umpire. (The regulars were on strike.)
“Most of the umpires, it’s amazing, 98 percent of them will not hold a grudge,” Weaver says. “I always felt a couple of them did. I never wanted to argue with an umpire in my life.”
Come on, I tell him.
“No,” Weaver says, “but in the heat of battle, when you think something is taken away from you, I had to go out there and holler at them. I knew it wasn’t going to do much. That one with Haller was embarrassing. We both acted like five-year-olds. ‘My dad can beat up your dad’ kind of thing. It’s terrible.”
The Haller argument, which happened the year after Baltimore blew a three-games-to-one lead to Pittsburgh in the ’79 World Series, lives on in YouTube posterity because Haller was wired for sound for a local newsmagazine show. Haller is the same umpire who said of Weaver in 2007, “When the bastard dies, they’ll have to hire pallbearers.”
Another umpire, Ron Luciano, once said he didn’t care who won the AL East, so long as it wasn’t Weaver and the Orioles. The league kept Luciano off Baltimore games for a year because of that comment. When the ban expired, Luciano threw Weaver out the first chance he got, ejecting him before Weaver even cleared the top step of the dugout to argue a strike call. Weaver protested the game and had the grounds for his protest announced over the stadium loudspeakers: “Umpire integrity.”