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Mississippi minor league managerial meltdown worthy of hall-of-fame status

Video: Mississippi minor league manager Phillip Wellman melted down after his ejection from Friday's Southern League contest in Chattanooga.

By Chuck King

Mississippi’s Phillip Wellman may never reach the Baseball Hall of Fame. If anyone ever opens a sports blooper hall of fame, however, the minor league baseball manager’s meltdown is likely to make Wellman a first ballot selection.

Wellman experienced the existential meltdown in the third inning of the Mississippi Braves’ Friday night Southern League contest at Chattanooga. Unhappy with home plate umpire Brent Rice’s strike zone, Wellman flew out of the dugout, throwing his cap at Rice’s feet. When he reached Rice, Wellman, who had already been ejected, appeared to bump him.

After a 15 second gesticulation-filled argument, Wellman walked over to home plate and covered it in dirt. Wellman then got down on his hands and knees and drew a new, larger home plate in the dirt.

The minor league managerial meltdown continued when Wellman made his way out to third base, picked up the bag, walked toward second base and tossed the bag into center field.

At that point Wellman’s tantrum turned hall of fame worthy. The Mississippi Braves manager dropped to his stomach and crawled toward the pitcher’s mound. He picked up the rosin bag like a grenade, pantomimed pulling the pin with his teeth, and lobbed it toward home plate. The bag landed at the feet of Rice, providing a little chalk “explosion.”

After ejecting the umpire, Wellman retreated to second base, pulling that bag out of the ground. He then retrieved third base from centerfield and headed to the outfield gate.

Before leaving the field Wellman blew kisses to the crowd.

On Monday the Atlanta Braves, parent club of Mississippi, suspended Wellman for three games. The Southern League has not announce disciplinary action publicly. Wellman has said that the incident is behind him and won't comment on the ejection.

Check out my blog for more on wild minor league promotions and minor league baseball.

 

 

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