TAUNTON - Taunton West Little League will be without umpires for their playoffs. The Greater Taunton Amateur Baseball Umpire Association (GTABUA) suspended all officiating after two of their umps were threatened following a game.
"Profanity, verbal harassment, I am going to meet you in the parking lot," explains GTABUA President Dominic Damiano. "It gets overbearing when it starts to affect the kids, and the kids see it. That's a line crosser right there."
Late in the game, a controversial call took runs off the board for the home team. Damiano says the home plate umpire put his hand up to stop play, however neither the batter nor the pitcher noticed. When the pitch came in, the batter smacked a 2-run double to take the lead. The umps called the play back because they never put the ball in play.
"The umpires did the right thing. They said we have to put these guys back. I never put the ball in play," said Damiano.
The batter struck out, as did the child after him, stranding the runners and leaving the home team behind.
"That is when chaos happened," says Damiano.
Paul Nadeu was the umpire behind the plate. He says the fans started chanting at them, claiming they needed to earn their $50 pay, and that they didn't know the rules. Damiano and Nadeu admit booing and heckling happens, but the Taunton fans took it a step further. After the game, parents continued to harass the two umpires. Nadeu claims at least two fans threatened to attack the two umpires by the concession stand and again in the parking lot.
"We threatened to call police, and one gentleman pulled the other gentleman away, and said you're lucky because this guy is a cop," said Nadeu. "As soon as we got in the parking lot that gentleman was out there waiting for us, and more people followed us out, and continued to accost us, start a fight, call us names."
In response, the GTABUA decided to suspend all officiating with the league by saying the incidents violated their contract.
"Little League has a code of conduct that you sign every year as a parent about how you are going to act on the field," says Nadeu.
In a statement on Facebook, the league says they are suspending all parties involved in the harassment. They even offered to bring police detail or remove fans entirely, but the GTABUA still won't return. The umpires and the league will meet with Taunton Mayor Shaunna O'Connell to try to come to an agreement.
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